ATP Tour

Martinez new Spain Davis Cup captain

2015-07-05 23:18
Conchita Martinez (Gallo Images)

Madrid - Conchita Martinez will take over as Spain's Davis Cup captain for the Group I tie away to Russia in two weeks following Friday's dismissal of Gala Leon, the Spanish tennis federation (RFET) said on Sunday.

A former Wimbledon champion who turned to coaching after she retired in 2006 Martinez, who's 43, leads Spain's Fed Cup team and will officially take charge of the men's team as well on Monday until the end of the 2015 season, the federation said in an emailed statement.

"The RFET sought the best solution for the difficult task our nation faces ... and established that it already had within its ranks a professional who enjoys the respect and esteem of the players and whose sporting career demonstrated her suitability for this undertaking," the statement said.

Leon, who had a career-high ranking of 27 as a player, was a surprise choice last year as Spain's first female Davis Cup captain to replace Carlos Moya.

Moya, a former world number one, stood down after the five-times winners were relegated from the World Group following defeat by Brazil in a playoff.

Top players including Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer questioned Leon's appointment, with some of their main criticisms being that she was under-qualified and did not know the players.

Appointing Martinez may address some of those complaints, although the likes of Nadal and Ferrer appear unlikely to make themselves available for the July 17-19 tie in Vladivostok.

Martinez had spoken to the Spanish players before agreeing to take over, the federation said, without specifying which ones.

Spain's team is likely to comprise the relatively little-known Daniel Gimeno, Adrian Menendez, Inigo Cervantes and David Marrero, with possibly one of those being replaced by the higher-ranked Pablo Andujar, Spanish media have reported.

Spain need a win to have a chance of getting back into the elite World Group for next year's competition.

Leon was fired following the decision by Jose Luis Escanuela to step down as RFET president on Thursday after he was suspended indefinitely for failing to cooperate in a government probe into the federation's finances.

Escanuela was replaced by Fernando Fernandez-Ladreda, a professor of accounting and a politician in Spain's ruling People's Party (PP) in the local administration in Oviedo who was promoted from RFET vice president.

Read more on:    davis cup  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.