Spain Davis Cup captain will need much more than Murray's praise

For Spain's newly appointed Davis Cup captain, Gala Leon Garcia, Andy Murray's backing may not be enough for her to survive the demands of the game, on and off the court.

Spain Davis Cup captain will need much more than Murray's praise

New Delhi: For Spain's newly appointed Davis Cup captain, Gala Leon Garcia, Andy Murray's backing may not be enough for her to survive the demands of the game, on and off the court.

Spanish tennis federation on Monday appointed the former WTA player as the captain of their men's national team.

Gala, 40, thus became the first female to lead a men's tennis team. Murray hailed the appointment as a ground-breaking step for the sport. The former Wimbledon champion even shared a congratulatory tweet on the micro-blogging site, Twitter:

But, Spanish tennis is much more than a Murray. Soon a barrage of criticism arrived from Rafael Nadal's coach, challenging the very purpose of having a female captain for the national team. Toni Nadal said that "It is preferable that (the Davis Cup captain) is someone with a background in the world of men's tennis... The truth is that the men's game isn't the same as the women's game on the tactical level, not that one is better than the other."

Known as Uncle Toni on the tour, he claimed that “She is not known on the male circuit. Rafa doesn`t know her and I think it is the same with the other players.”

However, Leon Garcia insisted she is more worried about returning Spain to the World Group in 2015. Spain, in the absence of Rafa and David Ferrer, suffered defeats to Germany in the World Group and Brazil in the World Group play-off this year. Five-time champions were subsequently relegated from the elite World Group for the first time in 18 years. And it lead to Carlos Moya resigning as the captain of the team.

Leen Garcia's playing career was highlighted by one WTA title, at Madrid in 2000. She once reached a career high singles ranking of 27. Her best performance in a Grand Slam came on the red clay of French Open, reaching fourth rounds in 1996 and 1999.

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