Fed Cup and Davis Cup Captains
Originally published on 11/07/17 00:00
What is the role of a Davis Cup or Fed Cup captain?
Your questions answered by our experts
The captain is normally a non-playing coach appointed by the national federation and is responsible for selecting the squad for each tie and choosing who will play in each rubber.
“The captain pre-nominates a team and if the schedules allows there is a small training camp before the final nominations,” explains Mats Merkel, who is Sweden’s Fed Cup co-captain.
“Acting as an organiser, the captain needs to be in touch with the players, managers, parents, travel department, ITF officials regarding hotels and rules, making sure the line of communication is good and everyone is happy.”
Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith has likened his role to a football team manager, overseeing the players and backroom staff.
“Routines are important for tennis players,” says Smith, who guided Britain to an historic Davis Cup victory in 2015. “You need to make sure that every minute is accounted for and everything runs like clockwork.”
Merkel added: “As a coach you only have one player to take care of. As a captain team building is extremely important – there is no time for negativity or bad vibes. The captain needs to treat the players individually but at the same time he is not allowed to favour anyone.
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