Meet France's first female Davis Cup Captain

Jul 2 2 min read

2:29 pm

2013 US Open (8) on Flickr by Daniel under CC2.0

Former World No.1 Amelie Mauresmo became the first French woman to captain a Davis Cup team. The decision was made by the French Tennis Federation, who had Mauresmo and Michael Llodra among the candidates.

The current Davis Cup captain of France is Yannick Noah - the last Frenchman to win Roland Garros title back in 1983. After watching Noah's win on television, Mauresmo decided to pick up the tennis racquet and a decade later became a professional tennis player.

In 1998, Mauresmo was picked by Noah in the French Fed Cup team. Her potential was realized very soon when she finished as the runner-up at the Australian Open in 1999 after beating the then No.1, Lindsay Davenport. In the process Mauresmo became the first Frenchwoman since Mary Pierce to reach the Australian Open final. Being the third French woman to reach a slam final in the Open Era, Mauresmo was a looming threat to the fellow WTA players on tour.

As a player, Mauresmo bagged 25 titles including the 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns. At Melbourne Park, she faced Justine Henin in the final, who retired mid-match. Mauresmo, leading 6-1 2-0 won her first grand slam title, but not in a way she would have wanted. Six months later, she became the first Frenchwoman since Suzanne Lenglen to win the Wimbledon ladies’ singles title. In a rematch of the Australian Open final, Mauresmo defeated Henin 2-6 6-3 6-4.

Mauresmo's powerful single-handed backhand was her primary weapon on tour. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist retired in 2009 and joined Michael Llodra as a consultant coach in 2010. Mauresmo was also coach to Victoria Azarenka, Marion Bartoli and her most cherished disciple, Andy Murray.

As a coach, Mauresmo won eight titles with the most notable being Bartoli's Wimbledon victory and two Masters titles with Andy Murray. In 2016, when Mauresmo was expecting a second child, she stepped down as Murray's coach.

The Frenchwoman also won the tour finals in 2005 and was a part of the Fed Cup winning team of 2003.

"I'm obviously very proud of the trust put in me. I am thinking of Andy [Murray] because without him I would not be here today. He had confidence in me when others thought that it was an aberration."

The 38-year old held the World No.1 ranking for 39 weeks and will step up on the tennis scene yet again as the skipper of the 10-time Davis Cup champions. She will begin her tenure in 2019.