Tennis

Spain appoint Gala Leon Garcia as first female Davis Cup captain

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Spain have named Gala Leon Garcia as their first female Davis Cup captain.

The 40-year-old has replaced Carlos Moya after Spain suffered relegation from the World Group for the first time in 18 years.

This is the first time a female will become the captain of a Davis Cup country for the first time in the competition's 114 year history.

Former number one Carlos Moya was asked to stay on by the Federation despite the demotion, but stuck to his initial plan to step down citing personal reasons.

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Relegation

Spain suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of Germany and Brazil as they fell from the top level of international competition.

The five time Champions, who last won in 2011, were without 14-time Grand Slam winner Rafa Nadal and world number seven David Ferrer for both ties.

Having lost 4-1 earlier in the year to Germany, the 3-1 loss to Brazil in the World Cup play-off condemned Spain to their fate of demotion.

Females making waves

The move to instate Garcia as captain is the latest step forward for women coaches in the mens game.

Andy Murray, who made former world number one Amelie Mauresmo his coach after splitting with Ivan Lendl tweeted his support for Garcia.

He put on his personal account: "congrats to Gala Leon Garcia for becoming first female Spanish Davis cup captain today... hopefully first of many!"

Moya, who retired from playing in 2004, reached a career high of 27 in the WTA rankings back in September 2000.

She failed to make it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam during her career, her best performance coming at the French Open in 1996 and 1999.

The left-hander did win one title on the WTA tour winning in Madrid at the turn of the century.

It is hoped that Garcia can lead the Spanish back to the World Group at the first attempt whilst at the same time bringing the big hitters back in to the fold.

On her appointment and the talk of the big players, Garcia said: "If the Davis Cup returns to being a real objective for the players, then the door is always open on my part."

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