Carlos Moya has been announced as the new captain of the Spanish Davis Cup by BNP Paribas team.
The 37-year-old from Mallorca takes over from Alex Corretja in leading the most-decorated Davis Cup team of the new millennium.
Moya will make his debut as skipper for the World Group first round encounter away to Germany on 1-3 February next year and the former Grand Slam champion is under no illusion that he faces a difficult start to his tenure.
“It’s a complicated clash,” said Moya. “The two [German] singles players are very dangerous. [Florian] Mayer on his day can hurt you. But we have to remember that we are Spain and we have the obligation to win.”
The new Spanish captain has always considered Davis Cup as one of the highlights of his career and in a Davis Cup Idols interview the former World No. 1 said: “When you go to a Grand Slam, for Spanish players anyway, it’s outside of Spain and the public is sometimes for you, sometimes against, but it’s not the same when you play Davis Cup. Everyone in the crowd is supporting you. It’s different.”
Crucially for the Spanish team, the appointment of Moya as captain has proven to be popular with its No. 1 player, Rafael Nadal.
The newly-crowned World No. 1 and long-time friend of fellow Mallorcan Moya spoke of his satisfaction from Shanghai, saying: “I think as a player he is one of the best we have had in the history of our country. He deserves to be Davis Cup captain.”
Nadal returned to the Davis Cup fold in September to help his team stay in the top flight and he is one of the players that new captain Moya will want to have on board if Spain is to mount another challenge on the Davis Cup in 2014.
Moya has said that picking the Spanish team is a tricky job given the high number of quality players at his disposal.
"The No. 10 or No. 12 in the world could be left out of the team so it’s not easy,” he said. “We hope that they are all well and ready to play – some rounds are tougher than others – and the most important thing is that we don’t suffer from injuries.”
During his illustrious career, Moya contested two of the most passionate finals in recent memory. The first, in 2003, was against a powerful Australian side on grass in Melbourne and the second came a year later in Seville, when Moya won two singles rubbers including the deciding match against Andy Roddick on Sunday.
“The atmosphere in Seville was incredible,” remembered Moya. “The most similar to a football match that I can remember.”