Join Date: Nov 2001
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Zina Garrison to be First Black Fed Cup Captain Next Season!!
Garrison to replace King as Fed Cup captain
Ex-tennis star will be first black U.S. captain in history of event
The Associated Press
Updated: 4:41 p.m. ET Dec. 22, 2003Zina Garrison will replace Billie Jean King as captain of the United States Fed Cup team next season, The Associated Press learned Monday.
Garrison, the Wimbledon runner-up in 1990, was appointed by USTA president Alan Schwartz for one year, a U.S. Tennis Association source told the AP on condition of anonymity. Her hiring was to be announced Tuesday, the source said.
Garrison becomes the country’s first black Fed Cup captain in the 40-year history of the event.
King is stepping aside after leading the United States to three Fed Cup titles since 1995, but her tenure also was marked by conflicts with players. She will stay on as an assistant coach, the same position Garrison has held since 1999.
A call to King’s agent was not immediately returned.
The United States will play at Slovenia in the first round of the 2004 Fed Cup on April 24-25.
The Americans lost to France last month in the 2003 final. That U.S. team was depleted by injuries and player disagreements with King, leaving it without such stars as Venus and Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.
The most publicized flap involved Capriati. She was kicked off the team on the eve of a 2002 match, when King didn’t want Capriati to practice on her own with her father. The United States lost to heavy underdog Austria. King also said Davenport wouldn’t be allowed to participate in a Fed Cup series this year because the player was going to arrive late after her mother had surgery.
Garrison might be more of a “players coach.” Venus Williams, for one, has credited Garrison’s Fed Cup coaching with helping her improve.
Garrison, 40, was ranked in the top 10 from 1983-90, peaking at No. 4 in 1989-90. She retired as a player in 1997 with 37 titles: 14 in singles, 20 in doubles, and three in mixed doubles.
Garrison played on eight Fed Cup teams from 1984-94, going 22-5. When she beat Monica Seles and Steffi Graf to reach the 1990 Wimbledon final, Garrison became the first black woman to reach a Grand Slam championship match since Althea Gibson in 1958. Garrison lost that final to Martina Navratilova 6-4, 6-1.
Garrison also is known for being the last player to beat 18-time major champion Chris Evert, eliminating her in the 1989 U.S. Open quarterfinals.
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