The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced the appointment of Hall-of-Famer, Grand Slam champion, and four-time year-end world No.1, Lindsay Davenport, as the next captain of the U.S. Billie Jean King Cup team. Davenport, a three-time Billie Jean King Cup champion, is set to take the reins as the team’s 20th captain, succeeding Kathy Rinaldi after the 2023 Finals.
Reflecting on her new role, Davenport expressed her excitement: “Playing Billie Jean King Cup was always something that was a huge priority and a huge highlight for me during my career. I always felt a tremendous amount of pride representing my country, and I’m excited to do it now in a different role. Joining a prestigious list of U.S. captains is an incredible honor, and with the group of players that we have now and their great personalities, I really couldn’t ask for a better time to have this position.”
Davenport’s illustrious career saw her as one of the most successful U.S. Billie Jean King Cup players in history, contributing significantly to titles in 1996, 1999, and 2000. Over a record 11 years, she participated in 20 ties, amassing an impressive 26-3 singles record and a flawless 7-0 in doubles. Her 26 singles victories tie her with Billie Jean King for second place all-time for the U.S., with only Chris Evert ahead, and her 33 total wins secure her fourth place, following Evert, King, and Rosie Casals.
Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014, Davenport’s exceptional career boasts three Grand Slam singles and doubles titles, in addition to the 1996 Olympic gold medal in singles. Accumulating a total of 55 singles and 38 doubles titles, she spent an impressive 98 weeks as the world No.1, culminating in year-end No.1 rankings in 1998, 2001, and 2004-05.
Since her retirement in 2010, Davenport has seamlessly transitioned into roles as a commentator and coach, notably mentoring American Madison Keys. As captain, Davenport will assume a year-round position within USTA Player Development, offering invaluable support to American players while serving as a mentor for both seasoned professionals and budding juniors.
Current captain Kathy Rinaldi, who will transition to the role of USTA Player Development’s Head of Women’s Tennis, will lead the U.S. in the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals, scheduled for November 7-12 in Seville, Spain. The Finals will feature 12 nations competing in four round-robin groups of three, with the group winners advancing to the knockout semifinals. The U.S. has been drawn into Group A alongside Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
“I look forward to watching and supporting the U.S. team in the Finals later this year,” Davenport said. “Kathy has been an amazing role model to not only the players now but also myself, and I look forward to continuing what she started the last seven years. She’s done a remarkable job and I look forward to the U.S. hopefully winning it this year so that when I’m captain, we’re defending champions.”