Dont expect miracles, says France skipper Mauresmo

20 Jul 2012 18:46

Former world number one Amelie Mauresmo expressed her pride at being appointed France's Fed Cup captain on Friday but warned that she could not be expected to perform instant miracles with the team.

Mauresmo takes over from Nicolas Escude at the helm of a team who are still reeling after being demoted to the second tier World Group II for the first time in their history in 2011.

The two-time champions will take on Germany at home in their first-round tie from February 9-10.

"First we're going to try and get a win against the Germans," said Mauresmo, when asked about her objectives.

"We're not aiming for the stars in terms of results but our aim will of course be to return to the World Group I and we're going to get down to it from next season," said Mauresmo, who has signed a two-year deal.

French Tennis Federation president Jean Gachassin said they were hoping to get the 33-year-old to commit long-term to the team.

"I hope we're in for the long haul," said Gachassin. "I want her to remain captain for as long as possible. Amelie possesses human, moral and sporting values and ... the Fed Cup spirit."

Mauresmo, 33, won the Fed Cup as a player in 2003 and two Grand Slam titles -- the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006 -- before retiring in 2009.

She has for the past few weeks been working alongside current Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who reclaimed the world number one spot after her semi-final appearance at Wimbledon.

French number one Marion Bartoli, who has not played for the Fed Cup team since 2004, last week expressed her support for Mauresmo to take over as captain and left the door open to her own possible return to the national team.

Bartoli, the only French player ranked in the top 50, has refused to play in the Fed Cup because her father and coach Walter is not welcome to join the team during matches.

Mauresmo said she was keen to get world number 10 Bartoli back into the fold.

"My position is quite simple. I want to talk to her and to talk to her father to know what they want."