Spain tennis coach Conchita eyes Davis Cup title (IANS Interview)

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New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) With only one Grand Slam in her kitty, Spain’s non-playing Davis Cup captain Conchita Martinez regrets not winning more titles during her tennis career, but is now eager to fulfill that void my achieving success as a coach.

Conchita had won the women’ singles title at Wimbledon in 1994, defeating American legend Martina Navratilova in the final.

That was her only success at the Grand Slams as the best she could manage thereafter was runner-up finishes at the Australian Open and French Open in 1998 and 2000 respectively.

Currently in the capital for the Davis Cup play-off tie against India, the former World No.2 is determined to achieve success as a coach.

“I would have loved to win more trophies in my career. I had won the Wimbledon as player, but I would have really liked to win more Grand Slam titles.

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“But now that I have become a coach, I want to be more successful than when I was a player. Our main target now is to return to the World Group and hopefully win the Davis Cup title,” Conchita told IANS on the sidelines of Spain’s practice session here on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old, who is also the non-playing captain of the Spanish Fed Cup team, is enjoying her new avatar as a coach.

“It is a totally different feeling. Right now I know I can never be a player so I am trying to enjoy my duties as a coach. We have a great team with players like (Rafael) Nadal and (David) Ferrer so that makes my job a lot easier,” Conchita said.

“It can be a bit hectic sometimes. There are moments when I can become a bit tense. There are times when I am under pressure because of the match situation.

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“It is a lot different from playing. You know you cannot go and help your players on the court or play in their place when they are in a tight situation. But my experience as a player helps me to fulfill my duties as a coach,” she added.

Conchita admitted that the Spanish players are struggling to cope with the Delhi heat, but is happy with how they are trying to adjust to the conditions.

“The conditions here are really tough. We are not used to so much heat. But we are happy with how our practice has gone so far. The courts are really nice,” she said.

“I am happy with how our players have adjusted to the courts and the conditions here.”

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Spain has been out of the Davis Cup World Group for the last couple of years.

They had lost to Brazil and Germany in the World Group Play-offs in the past couple of years.

The former Davis Cup winners are reluctant to let go of their chance to make a return to the World Group and brought their full strength squad for the tie against India.

“The Indian players will be dangerous in their own conditions and in front of their home crowd. I am very happy that now we have the opportunity here to return to the World Group. So we are very motivated and are really focused on this tie,” Conchita said.

(Ajeyo Basu can be contacted at [email protected])



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