Davis Cup winners Spain have started to search for a new captain after Albert Costa announced that he is stepping down from the role.
The 36-year-old has taken another job at the Spanish federation after leading Spain to the 2011 title, their fifth success in the last 11 years.
The 2002 French Open winner guided Spain to a 3-1 victory against Argentina in the final of this year’s Davis Cup but, during the celebrations, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez all announced that they would not be available for next year’s competition because of a hectic ATP schedule and the London Olympic Games, sparking a flurry of online bets
on potential alternative winners.
Costa, who will become the co-ordinator of Spanish national teams, including the Davis and Fed Cup and the Olympic squad, said: "After three fantastic years leading the Davis Cup team, I now look forward to this new challenge.
"I'm tired. I have three years in the captaincy, also working in the Catalan Federation and being director of the Trofeo Godo (in Barcelona)."
As well as beating Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final of the 2002 French Open, Costa reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 1997 and the fourth round of the US Open a decade ago.
However, his style of play was not suited to the grass courts of Wimbledon and he never got past the second round at SW19.
He won 12 titles during his live tennis
career and reached a world ranking high of six in July 2002.
Costa also guided Spain to Davis Cup success in 2009 when they thrashed the Czech Republic 5-0 in the final. The only blot on Costa’s Davis Cup copybook came in 2010 when his team were beaten 5-0 in the quarter-finals by France.