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Gala Leon Garcia named Spain's first female Davis Cup captain

Gala Leon Garcia has been announced as Spain's first female Davis Cup captain.

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The 40-year-old replaces Carlos Moya, who stepped down on Thursday after Spain suffered relegation from the World Group following a 3-1 defeat to Brazil.

It is the first time Spain have been lower than World Group status since 1996, as they prepare to play their way through Euro-Africa Zone Group I.

Garcia retired in 2004 with one WTA title to her name and having achieved a highest world ranking of 27.

It was thought that Juan Carlos Ferrero was among the favourites to succeed Moya, but on Monday it was confirmed that Garcia had been offered the role.

Spanish Tennis Federation president Jose Luis Escanuela had pleaded with Moya to stay on in the job, but the former world number one released a statement confirming he had declined the offer.

"I thank the president and the board of the Spanish tennis federation for the confidence they have shown in me,'' he said.

''I have tried my best and, knowing that and the personal circumstances, my head says 'no' and my heart says 'y'es 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."

Two-time grand slam winner Andy Murray, who appointed a female coach in Amelie Mauresmo in January, tweeted his support for Garcia.

"Congrats to Gala Leon Garcia for becoming first female Spanish Davis Cup captain today... hopefully first of many!," he wrote.

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