Judy Murray to captain Britain
LONDON -- Andy Murray's mother has been appointed captain of Britain's Fed Cup team.
The Lawn Tennis Association said Thursday that Judy Murray will lead Britain in its Feb. 1-4 Europe-Africa Group I match against Israel in Eilat and mentor other female performance coaches.
Murray, who was the Scotland national coach for nine years, trained three-time Grand Slam finalist Andy Murray early in his career. She is a familiar figure at the No. 4-ranked player's matches -- regularly jumping to her feet to shout encouragement from the stands.
She also coached son Jamie, a Wimbledon mixed doubles champion in 2007.
"It is a huge honor for me to represent my country in this way," she said. "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 work force. I want to encourage more women to get involved in coaching at the highest level, and to personally support their development."
"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," said Leon Smith, LTA head of men's and women's tennis. "I know the players and the rest of the team are really excited about this."
Britain is one of only four nations to compete in every Fed Cup but has never won the competition, losing the last of its four finals in 1981. Baltacha is the highest-ranked player on the team at No. 51.
Murray is replacing Nigel Sears, who is the father of Andy Murray's long-term girlfriend. Sears left to coach Ana Ivanovic.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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