Melbourne, 15 December 2012 | Tennis Australia

Australian Fed Cup captain Dave Taylor has stepped down from the position to focus solely on coaching his star pupil, World No.9 Sam Stosur.

Taylor said the incredible amount of travel required to coach both a top 10 player and the national team had taken its toll and was behind his decision to relinquish the Fed Cup captaincy.

The award-winning, highly-credentialed coach leaves the national team in great shape. He started seven years ago when they were wallowing in the Asian group qualifying and has finished on a high with a stunning away win over a talent-packed Germany to elevate Australia into World Group One –the top eight nations – and earn an impressive captaincy win-loss record of 15-6.

“It has been an honour to hold such a prestigious position in a great tennis nation such as ours. I am thankful to Tennis Australia and Craig Tiley for entrusting me with such an important role,” Taylor said.

“I want to acknowledge the fantastic loyal support of our players with whom our elevation back to World Group One would obviously not have been possible.

“This current group of players and staff started this journey from humble beginnings seven years ago in the lowly Asia group qualifying. We’ve proudly established a 15-6 win loss record during that time.

“I especially wanted to mention the fantastic support I have enjoyed from our Fed Cup coach Nic Bradtke who has been a crucial part of the team. I have been honoured to work with Nic as I have also to see several players make their debut during my time.

“I have also been saddened to see the retirement of greats like Alicia Molik and Rennae Stubbs during my time. The common theme through it all though has been the selfless commitment from our players to our team goals and the terrific team environment that they all very much subscribe to. It has made my role so much easier over the years,” Taylor said.

“I am confident the right person will be chosen for the job and that they –along with a terrific team- will continue the momentum we have built in these past few years.”

Tennis Australia Director of Tennis Craig Tiley said Taylor would leave big shoes to fill.

“Dave was the perfect Fed Cup captain. His ability to bring out the best in his players and to build a healthy team environment is as good as I have seen in tennis.

“He certainly did not take this decision lightly and without a lot of healthy discussion. He remains a Tennis Australia national coach and is more determined than ever to help Sam soar even higher. His contribution to our sport will continue to be a major one.

“But while he is continuing his good work with us and for our sport, I did want to take this chance to thank him for his incredible service and for leaving the Fed Cup in such good shape,” Tiley said.

“David has done a wonderful job with the Fed Cup team creating an excellent culture and work ethic culminating in Australia’s great win over Germany and return to the World Group earlier this year,” Tennis Australia President Steve Healy said.

“We thank him and wish him well with Sam for the future.”

The search for a new Fed Cup captain will begin immediately. The new appointment will get a baptism of fire with the team’s first assignment against reigning Fed Cup champions Czech Republic on their home turf in February.