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Gala Leon Garcia Named Spanish Davis Cup Captain

A week after Spain suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of Brazil to ensure relegation to the Davis Cup zonal groups for the first time since 1996, captain Carlos Moya declined not to return depite pleas from the federation's president, Jose Luis Escanuela.

"I thank the president and the board of the Spanish tennis federation for the confidence they have shown in me," Moya said in a statement. "I have tried my best and, knowing that and the personal circumstances, my head says no and my heart says yes when the circumstances change. In the future if my personal circumstances are different, but above all if the Davis Cup returns to being a real objective for the players then the door is always open on my part."

A search began for Moya's successor, and Gala Leon Garcia was announced Sunday as the team's leader for 2015. The choice is notable because Leon Garcia is, in fact, a woman.

Leon Garcia is the fifth female captain in the history of Davis Cup, but is by far the most notable selection. The four female captains to precede her were: 
Tamara Semikina, who led Moldova from 1995 to 2001; Francesca Guardigli, who captained San Marino from 2002 to 2004; Farah Dayoub, at the helm of Syria in 2009 and Maria-Elena Gittens, who led Panama in 2011.

Leon Garcia, 40, had a 14-year career on the WTA between 1991 and 2004 and reached a career high ranking of 27 in 2000. She twice reached the fourth round of Roland Garros in 1996 and 1999, and played in five ties for the Spanish Fed Cup team.

Photo: Marca