The Lawn Tennis Association today confirmed Judy Murray as Great Britain’s new Fed Cup captain.
Murray, the mother of world number four Andy Murray, will take charge of the team for the first time in the Euro/Africa Zone Group I competition from February 1-4, 2012 in Eilat, Israel.
She will also work closely with the LTA player team in mentoring and supporting some of Britain’s most promising female performance coaches.
Murray said: ``It is a huge honour for me to represent my country in this way, and the role presents a very exciting challenge, given the mix of talent, experience and determination we have in our top female players right now.
“I’m also really looking forward to working with the LTA to develop a bigger and stronger female coaching workforce. I want to encourage more women to get involved in coaching at the highest level, and to personally support their development.”
The post has been vacant since the summer, when Nigel Sears resigned from his joint role as captain and head of women’s tennis at the LTA to coach former world number one Ana Ivanovic.
Leon Smith took over responsibility for the women’s game in October but, with the Scot also the head of men’s tennis and Davis Cup captain, he is understandably keen to bolster his coaching team.
He said: “To have someone of Judy’s standing in the sport in such a key role for us is going to be a huge asset as we look to support our best players and coaches, and begin to climb up the ladder in world tennis.
“I know the players and the rest of the team are really excited about this.”
Murray takes over at a time of promise for British women’s tennis with Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Laura Robson all making significant progress during 2011.
However, the Fed Cup format may count against their chances of reaching the World Group.
The regional group takes the form of a round-robin competition with only two of the 15 teams achieving promotion, and there is some stiff competition.