Fed Cup captain Sánchez Vicario resigns

Former world number one sides with players over dispute with federation chief

Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and RFET president José Luis Escañuela pictured in April.
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and RFET president José Luis Escañuela pictured in April. ANDREU DALMAU (DIARIO AS)

Spanish Fed Cup captain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario on Monday announced she would be leaving her post with immediate effect in support of a group of nine of her players who severed relations with the president of the Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET), José Luis Escañuela.

Sánchez Vicario, who won four Grand Slam singles titles and reached number one in the world, was captain of Spain's Fed Cup team. Her appointment was met with optimism but ended less than gloriously; the team slipped out of the World Group after defeats to Russia and Slovakia. Sánchez Vicario also had a frosty relationship with Spain's highest-ranked player, Anabel Medina, who she accused of having a "problematic personality."

The federation said that it is having trouble getting hold of its Fed Cup captain, who is in the USA, with regard to the World Group II first-round tie against Ukraine in February. "We're not surprised," said federation sources over her letter of resignation.

"The latest stance by a numerous group of players was the determining factor," Sánchez Vicario wrote. "Although I held no meetings with them I cannot ignore the majority of players and remain on the sidelines. I hope this will serve as a wake-up call for the RFET to take the necessary measures to effect a radical change in its approach to women's tennis."

The players' decision was based on Escañuela's failure to adhere to promises made two years ago to ensure the future of women's tennis.

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