Mau­resmo with­draws as Davis Cup cap­tain to coach Pouille

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

For­mer world num­ber one Amelie Mau­resmo has turned her back on be­com­ing France’s new Davis Cup cap­tain, opt­ing in­stead to work with French player Lu­cas Pouille.

A state­ment from the French Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion on Thurs­day con­firmed the U-turn by the 39-year-old who had been named in June to be­come the first woman to cap­tain the French team. Mau­resmo, who pre­vi­ously cap­tained France’s Fed Cup team, was to due take over from Yan­nick Noah, whose third stint in charge ended in a dis­ap­point­ing de­feat by Croa­tia in last month’s fi­nal held in Lille’s soc­cer sta­dium.

“(Amelie Mau­resmo) has ac­cepted this chal­lenge and re­nounces the po­si­tion of cap­tain of the Davis Cup France team to carry out this mis­sion,” the state­ment said.

“The French Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion sup­ports and en­cour­ages this pro­ject which serves the in­ter­ests of French ten­nis.”

Pierre Cher­ret, the FFT’s Na­tional Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor, said he would be­gin the process of finding a new Davis Cup cap­tain who would also be re­spon­si­ble for the men’s team at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. “It was im­por­tant and log­i­cal for Lu­cas, af­ter his fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion with Em­manuel Planque, to look for the per­son most likely to con­tinue his de­vel­op­ment,” Cher­ret said. “As head of the French teams, I will soon make my pro­posal for the new cap­tain to the com­mit­tee.”

Mau­resmo had ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion’s (ITF) de­ci­sion to re­vamp the Davis Cup from next year in con­junc­tion with Span­ish in­vest­ment group Kos­mos with whom they agreed a 25-year $3 bil­lion deal.

An ITF vote in Au­gust gave the green light to re­place the cur­rent ‘home and away’ World Group for­mat with an 18-na­tion fi­nals week to be staged in Madrid next Novem­ber.

“I tell my­self that all these young peo­ple who watched the Davis Cup on tele­vi­sion, who have had in­cred­i­ble mo­ments in the sta­di­ums, will never be able to live this again,” Mau­resmo said ear­lier this year af­ter the an­nounce­ment was made.

Pouille, ranked 32 in the world, had also crit­i­cised the com­pe­ti­tion’s re­vamp af­ter Croa­tia’s Marin Cilic beat him in Lille to seal the last Davis Cup fi­nal in its cur­rent guise.

Pouille said after­wards he would not play in the Davis Cup again, while other mem­bers of the French team also crit­i­cised the di­rec­tion in which the com­pe­ti­tion was mov­ing.

The 24-year-old said on Thurs­day that he was ex­cited to work with Mau­resmo, who also en­joyed a suc­cess­ful coach­ing stint with Bri­tain’s for­mer world num­ber one Andy Mur­ray.

“I am very happy to start my new col­lab­o­ra­tion with @AmeMau­resmo! Her ex­pe­ri­ence as a player and coach can help me achieve my goals,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

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