Baltacha eyes Fed Cup path

Last Updated: 19/11/13 9:20am

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Elena Baltacha: Would like to captain Great Britain one day

Elena Baltacha: Would like to captain Great Britain one day

Sky Bet

Elena Baltacha has retired from tennis as a huge Fed Cup fan and cannot rule out wanting to follow in the footsteps of one of her heroes, Judy Murray, by coaching the Great Britain side.

Persistent ankle problems prompted 30-year-old Baltacha to call time on her playing career on Monday, with her immediate focus switching to the development of young players at her academy in Ipswich.

Her ambitions are grand, though, and as someone who played 39 times in the Fed Cup for her country, she cannot rule out one day sitting in Murray's seat as captain.

"I have just retired and want to develop myself and really shadow certain coaches," said Baltacha.

"I want to throw myself in and develop myself. My priority is my academy but you never know in a couple of years time which way your path will go. I am very excited."

Perhaps more famous for being the mother of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Judy Murray is also a successful coach and has been a popular addition to the British ranks at international level.

The team remain in Euro/Africa Group I but with the likes of Laura Robson and Heather Watson now picking up the baton from Baltacha and the also-retired Anne Keothavong, Murray has younger blood at her disposal.

After a disappointing defeat to Argentina last time out, a new challenge is presented in the shape of Hungary in February, and Baltacha has high hopes.

"The girls can do it, we have fallen short against Sweden and Argentina (their last two play-offs), but we would have beaten both of those teams at home. They got the luck and were at home," added Baltacha, who was the British number one for 132 weeks between 2009 and 2012.

"I hope the girls will take it as seriously as me and Anne did. That was one of my highlights, I always made myself available and it's such an honour and privilege if you get called.

"To be playing under Judy - she's such an inspirational lady - I have learnt so much from her and that is one of my highlights."

Baltacha retires with a career-high ranking of 49 achieved in 2010 and with a trio of grand slam third-round appearances to her name.

"It really is the right time for me. I go with no regrets. I still love competing and I would love to carry on, but my body, after throwing it around the court for 16 years, has now had enough," she said.


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