In a joint announcement, the USTA and Mary Joe Fernandez, one of the longest-serving Fed Cup Captains in U.S. tennis history, today announced that after eight years of leadership, Fernandez will step down from her role as U.S. Fed Cup Captain. With this change in leadership, the role of Fed Cup captain will now include working very closely with USTA Player Development. The search for a new captain will begin immediately with the goal that a new captain will be named by the end of November.
“We greatly appreciate all that Mary Joe brought to the U.S. Fed Cup Team, including reaching two finals,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “She is highly regarded by all of the players, and has brought unparalleled experience and insight to the role. She will be missed.”
Adams also added the following: “Going forward, the role of the Fed Cup captain will be changing, and the captain will now work much more closely with USTA Player Development. The captain will attend Player Development training camps and will lend coaching support for players at a number of tournaments throughout the year. This new approach will place additional time demands on any Fed Cup captain over the course of the year.”
Mary Joe Fernandez has been a champion of American tennis since 1986 when at the age of 14, she became the youngest player to win a main draw match at the US Open in 1986. She had a long and distinguished playing career in both singles and doubles, achieving a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world in both singles and doubles. She successfully represented the United States at the Olympics in 1992 and 1996, bringing home two gold medals in women’s doubles (with Gigi Fernandez, 1992 and 1996) and a bronze medal in women’s singles (1992). Fernandez was also a member of the winning Fed Cup team in 1996, participating in 18 total ties during her playing career. Since retiring from the tour in 2000, Fernandez has been a well-known and respected tennis commentator and analyst for CBS and ESPN and served as the captain of the women’s Olympic Team in 2012 and 2016, as well as the Fed Cup teams from 2009 to 2016.
“Working with the players has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” said Fernandez. “I have been proud to represent the USA in this role. My only regret is we did not bring home the cup during my tenure as Captain. While the changes planned for the captain role are not a fit with my other work and family demands at this time, I plan to do my part to ensure a smooth transition to a new captain once selected, and continue to contribute where I can to the success of the USA Fed Cup Team.”
The U.S. Fed Cup Team will compete at home (location to be determined) against Germany on February 11-12, 2017.