Mardy Fish was named the captain of the United States Davis Cup squad on Wednesday, putting him in charge as the men’s team competition enters a new era.
Fish, who won six ATP singles titles and a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, replaces Jim Courier, who held the post for eight years before stepping down in September.
“It is something that is a dream job for me, something I won’t take for granted,” Fish, 37, said during a conference call. “To be the next Davis Cup captain is incredibly humbling.”
He added: “Everyone is really excited about the idea of the reform and the new format, sort of a World Cup of tennis.”
Fish will lead the American team into a drastically different Davis Cup format from the one under which he played. Fish featured in 11 ties from 2002-2012.
Instead of the three-day ties that used to take place over scattered weekends throughout the year, it has been overhauled into an 18-team event that this year will be played Nov. 18-24 in Madrid.
The new format will also bring a change in the job description for the American captain, who will work closely with the United States Tennis Association’s player development program.
Fish will spend much of the year traveling to tournaments and camps to support and mentor young American players while integrating current players with future professionals.
“Helping any and all of the players, mentoring players new and old, present and future is just something I am very passionate about,” said Fish, who made it to the quarterfinals of three of the four Grand Slams during his career.
He added: “I went through a lot of ups and downs in my career; it wasn’t because I wasn’t a hard worker. It was because I didn’t truly understand what it took to get everything out of what you have.”
After retiring as a player in 2015, Fish, who had a career-high ranking of No. 7, worked as part-time coach with U.S.T.A. Player Development, helping to guide young Americans on Tour, including Taylor Fritz and Jared Donaldson.