Rinaldi takes reigns of US Fed Cup team

Kathy Rinaldi takes over the American team that hasn't won the trophy in 16 years despite holding the all-time record of 17 Fed Cup titles.

In 1981, Kathy Rinaldi became the youngest player to win a match at Wimbledon (14 years, 91 days), a record that stood until 1990.   -  Getty Images

Former World No. 7 Kathy Rinaldi has been named the new captain of the United States Fed Cup women's tennis team, taking over from Mary Joe Fernandez who stepped down in October.

Rinaldi takes over the American team that hasn't won the trophy in 16 years despite holding the all-time record of 17 Fed Cup titles. The Americans reached the finals in 2010, 2009 and 2003 but lost. Fernandez resigned two months ago after eight years in charge of the team.

"This is an unbelievable opportunity, and I am incredibly excited and honored to take on the position of US Fed Cup captain," Rinaldi said Thursday.

"I believe that my experiences as both a player and a coach have given me insight that will help me to succeed in this role and can assist in getting the US Fed Cup team to the next level."

The 49-year-old Rinaldi's coaching debut will come at home in February against Germany. Rinaldi takes on an expanded role that includes extra duties like looking after the USTA's player development program.

Rinaldi was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in singles in May 1986. She reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1985 and the quarterfinals of the French Open in 1981 and 1986.

In 1981, Rinaldi became the youngest player to win a match at Wimbledon (14 years, 91 days), a record that stood until 1990.