Amelie Mauresmo turns down France Davis Cup captaincy to coach Lucas Pouille
Former World Number 1 and Wimbledon Champion Amelie Mauresmo made a dramatic U-turn and turned down the non-playing Captain role of the French Davis Cup team which she accepted in June this year to take up the coaching responsibility of fellow French star Lucas Pouille.
The 39-year-old would have become the first female captain of the French Davis Cup team as she was expected to replace Yannick Noah at the start of 2019. Two-time Grand Slam winner Mauresmo was the first woman to coach a leading male player when she took up the coaching assignment of Briton's Andy Murray in 2014.
A statement issued by the French Tennis Federation read, "Amelie Mauresmo has accepted this challenge and renounces the position of captain of the Davis Cup France team to carry out this mission. The French Tennis Federation supports and encourages this project which serves the interests of French tennis."
The 24-year-old Pouille, ranked world number 32, has slipped in the rankings after being ranked inside the Top-10 earlier this year. Pouille is looking forward to work with Mauresmo and expressed his gratitude to the French federation for facilitating the partnership.
"I am very happy to start my new collaboration with @AmeMauresmo! Her experience as a player and coach can help me achieve my goals, I'm sure we're going to do great things together," he wrote on his Twitter account.
Yannick Noah was one of France's most successful Davis Cup captains of all-time and enjoyed three fruitful spells at the helm. His latest spell proved to be a disappointing one as they lost in the final to Croatia at home and Noah was left a frustrated man complaining about the changes that are to take effect in the Competition from next year.
The task for the French Tennis Federation to find a suitable replacement to match the contributions made by Noah in order to steer the French National Team in 2019 and also the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games must start afresh.