Sukova honored with Fed Cup Award
November 8, 2014
NEWPORT, R.I. — The International Tennis Hall of Fame and International Tennis Federation (ITF) today honored Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic with the 2014 Fed Cup Award of Excellence. Sukova received the award on court during the 2014 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final in Prague, which is being contested between Czech Republic and Germany.
The award was presented by ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Jane Brown Grimes, 2014 Hall of Famer and president emerita of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
“The Czech Republic has a rich and successful Fed Cup history, and Helena played an integral role in building that history. As a dedicated competitor for her home country for 13 years, Helena personifies the spirit of international competition. In appreciation of her contributions to the sport of tennis and to the Fed Cup, we are proud to present her with the Fed Cup Award of Excellence,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
The ITF and the Hall of Fame annually present the Fed Cup Award of Excellence to an individual who represents the ideals and spirit of the Fed Cup competition.
Sukova’s 13 years as a member of the Czechoslovakia Fed Cup team stands as a record among the team’s members. She helped her nation win four Fed Cup championships (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988), and compiled an impressive personal win-loss record of 57-16, which also makes her the team record holder for Most Total Wins. Sukova has a Fed Cup record of 45-11 in singles and 12-5 in doubles, resulting from 54 ties played.
In addition to her Fed Cup success, Sukova was a strong representative for her home country in all areas of international team competition. She won two women’s doubles Silver Medals at the Olympic Games (1988 and 1996), when partnered with Jana Novotna. In 1989, she teamed with Miloslav Mecir to win the inaugural Hopman Cup for Czechoslovakia.
During her 15-year career Sukova won an impressive 14 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles. She achieved a career Grand Slam in women’s doubles, winning four titles at Wimbledon, two at the US Open, one at the Australian Open, and one at the French Open. She captured a remarkable 69 doubles titles during the course of her career and held the world No. 1 doubles ranking for 68 weeks.
Sukova was also a two-time singles finalist at both the Australian Open and the US Open, and achieved a career high singles ranking of world No. 4.
Tennis has always been a prominent theme in Sukova’s life. Her mother, Vera Puzejova Sukova, was a women’s singles finalist at Wimbledon in 1962, and her father, Cyril Suk II, was president of the Czechoslovakian Tennis Federation. Her brother, Cyril Suk III, is a former professional player as well. The siblings teamed up to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, at the French Open in 1991 and at Wimbledon in 1996 and 1997.
Sukova retired in 1998, and has stayed involved in sport in various capacities. In 1999, she helped re-establish the International Lawn Tennis Club of the Czech Republic and became its president. She is a co-founder of the Kids and Junior Tennis Advancement Organization in the Czech Republic. From February 2001 through November 2008 she served on the Presidium of the Czech Olympians’ Club and in June 2007 she was appointed by the Czech Olympic Committee to the Presidium of the Czech Fair Play Club.
Additionally, Sukova is a member of the Champions for Peace Club, a group of elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport. Sukova earned a doctoral degree as a psychologist at Palacky University and since February 2011, she has served as vice president of the Association of Sport Psychologists.
Past recipients of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence have been Corrado Barazzutti of Italy in 2013; Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic in 2012; Anastasia Myskina of Russia in 2011; Billie Jean King of the United States in 2010; Mary Joe Fernandez of the United States and Silvia Farina of Italy in 2009; Miguel Margets of Spain in 2008; Lea Pericoli of Italy in 2007; Sabine Appelmans of Belgium in 2006; Françoise “Frankie” Dürr of France in 2005; Olga Morozova of Russia in 2004; Larisa Savchenko of Latvia in 2003; Virginia Wade of Great Britain in 2002; and Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez in 2001.