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01 July 2011

Great Britain's Fed Cup captain resigns


Photo: James JordanNigel Sears (GBR)

Nigel Sears, Great Britain's Fed Cup captain and head coach of women's tennis for the Lawn Tennis Association, has resigned from his position to coach former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.

Sears made his Fed Cup debut in 2007 and has since managed the team in 19 different ties. During his four-and-a-half year spell as captain, GB have always played in Europe/Africa Zone Group I and his overall win-loss record is 9-10.

Despite failing to gain promotion under his supervision, the team has seen the emergence of a new group of young players that could increase Great Britain's potential of reaching the top tier of the competition in years to come.

“It’s been a real privilege to be in charge of women’s tennis at the LTA, and an honour to captain Great Britain’s Fed Cup team, and I feel we’ve made considerable progress in the women’s game over this period,” said Sears. “I’ve been fortunate to work with some great coaches, trainers and physios, and I look forward to following the progress of our players over the next few years.”

His work as head coach of women's tennis is considered to be pivotal for the success of players like Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong, who have broken into the world's top 50 in recent times, and young hopefuls Laura Robson and Heather Watson, both former junior champions of Wimbledon and US Open respectively.

"Nigel has been instrumental in developing the player programmes for our most talented girls and women, and he leaves behind a real sense of confidence and optimism that we can look forward to a bright long-term future in the international game,” said LTA Chief Executive Roger Draper.

"Really sad Nigel Sears has decided to resign from his position as Head Coach of Women's Tennis,” tweeted Keothavong. "He has been one of the most influential people in my career and it's been a privilege to work with him. It's a loss for British Tennis and I wish him all the best working with Ana."

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