MADRID — Conchita Martinez called the Spanish Tennis Federation’s decision to fire her as the Fed Cup and Davis Cup captain as unfair and disrespectful on Thursday.
Martinez lashed out after the federation announced that its board of directors unanimously decided to “make a change in the leadership of its professional teams … in order to face new challenges in 2018.”
Martinez said the decision was unilateral and that she would have liked to stay. She had been head of the Fed Cup team since 2013, and of the Davis Cup team since 2015. She was reportedly contracted until December.
“I want to share my disappointment and discomfort with the Spanish federation,” Martinez said in a statement. “It is very ungrateful to take over the helm during a storm and then be taken away after you reach the calm.”
She said she had not lost her motivation and was looking forward to upcoming ties.
“After all my contribution and dedication to Spanish tennis, I don’t think I deserved an ending like this, so disrespectful.”
Martinez said she had been feeling “abandoned” in recent months and foresaw the possibility of being let go, especially when she was not allowed to follow Spanish players at Grand Slams.
She said she was expecting things to be different with the recent change in leadership at the federation, but it was “more of the same” and “tennis still isn’t a priority.”
Martinez was a former Wimbledon champion and winner of five Fed Cups as a player. She retired in 2006. Under her captaincy, the Fed Cup team did not win a World Group tie. She cautiously agreed to take over the men’s team in 2015 after the previous captain was fired for lacking support from the players. She led the men back into the World Group last year and to the quarterfinals this year.
“It was a positive experience and I will take away the emotions from each of the competitions where we defended the colors of Spain,” Martinez said. “I’m proud to have worked with the best tennis players in the world.”
The federation’s announcement came three days after Spain became the first country since the United States 14 years ago to top the WTA and ATP singles rankings. Garbine Muguruza made her debut at No. 1 on Monday, joining U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal.
Martinez worked with Muguruza when she won Wimbledon in July.
The federation said it will announce new captains soon.
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