Leon sacked as Spain captain

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Leon, a former professional player, made history last September when she became Spain’s first female Davis Cup captain.

The 41-year-old, who had a career-high ranking of 27 as a player, was a surprise choice to replace Carlos Moya, who stood down last year after the five-times winners were relegated from the World Group following defeat by Brazil in a play-off.

However, top players including Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer questioned her appointment and the decision to sack her is seen as an attempt by president Fernando Fernandez-Ladreda to clear the air and persuade the players to take part in the Group I second-round tie away to Russia in a fortnight.

Spain need a win in the July 17-19 tie in Vladivostok to have a chance of getting back into the elite World Group for next year’s competition.

Fernandez-Ladreda took over on Thursday following Jose Luis Escanuela’s resignation after he was suspended for failing to cooperate in a probe into the organisation’s finances.

“The decision was taken after a reflection on the benefits of Gala Leon continuing as captain of the Spanish team for the upcoming tie against Russia and with the aim of achieving the best possible result,” read an RFET statement.

Nadal, Ferrer and 42 other high-profile figures in Spanish tennis this week issued a statement criticising what they said was poor organisation and a lack of transparency at the RFET.?? ??

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