It was announced on Tuesday that Judy Murray has stepped down as captain of Great Britain’s Fed Cup team after 5 years in charge.
Judy says the decision has be made to spend more time with her family and her tennis programmes ‘Tennis on the Road’ and ‘Miss Hits’.
In Judy’s statement she did also say the following:
“The Fed Cup format is in desperate need of a revamp. Team competition engages players and fans much more than individual events. It’s crucial we use this global competition as a means of attracting and retaining girls in competitive tennis at every level. That requires more countries to have the opportunity of playing home and away ties so we can showcase our sport. The GB team has been stuck in the 16-team Euro- Africa Zone for an eternity.
“We play four countries in four successive days in February and only two teams qualify for a playoff opportunity to progress to the World Group. If you don’t make the play off, there’s nothing until the following February making it impossible to build any momentum on or off the court.
“The Fed Cup should be leading the way in promoting and showcasing competitive women’s team tennis at all levels and in all countries. Things have got to change.
“Everyone can see the buzz created around the home ties and team tennis at all stages of the Davis Cup. Fed Cup should be afforded a similar format.”
I don’t think any tennis fan in the world would disagree with what Judy has said. The Fed Cup does need a revamp. The current format is atrocious a like she said it doesn’t give a chance for momentum to be built.
This from Judy prompted a response from the ITF…
“Like many captains and nations, Judy would like to see the Fed Cup format changed to a 16 team World Group which would allow more movement of teams from Zonal Groups into the World Group. This is a view shared by ITF President David Haggerty who with the board are looking at reforms to Fed Cup as well as Davis Cup. The ITF Board has an upcoming meeting where various reforms will be discussed, some of which may be brought to the ITF Annual General Meeting in June for consideration of approval.”
Full statement from the ITF – http://www.fedcup.com/en/news/225969.aspx
This is pretty big. It’s obvious the format isn’t popular at all with players, countries, captains and fans and something needs to change. The ITF recognise that from their statement so hopefully a change to the format is considered!
I think it’s sad for British Tennis that Judy won’t be there anymore. If I were at the LTA I’d be making sure I keep Judy close with her knowledge and success as coach, with her tennis programs and Andy being one of the best singles players on the tour and Jamie won of the best doubles players on the tour and closing in on world number one!
The big question is, who next? We’ve heard a lot of ex-players names thrown into consideration. Anne Keothavong, Annabel Croft, Greg Rusedski and many more.
If I were in charge I wouldn’t quickly jump down the ex-player route I’d take my time and look at the options. Look at the appointment of Leon Smith for Davis Cup team, not an ex professional player and only 34 when he took over and guided the team to Davis Cup victory!