Sam Stosur appointed Australia’s Billie Jean King Cup team captain
Retired champion Sam Stosur, one of the nation’s finest representative players, has been announced as the new captain of Australia’s Billie Jean King Cup team.
Sam Stosur has taken the next step in her illustrious tennis career, moving into the role of Australian Billie Jean King Cup team captain.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion takes the reins from Alicia Molik, who led the team for 10 years and guided Australia to finals in 2019 and 2022.
As Molik shifts her focus to becoming tournament director at the Adelaide International, Stosur will guide a team she first played for 20 years ago, when she debuted in singles in 2003.
Stosur said she still remembers that tie, against Colombia in Wollongong, when Molik was her teammate and Stosur was just 19 years old.
“I’ve got years of playing experience and one thing that I know is how the girls feel when you walk out on the court to play for Australia. I know that feeling of doing it for the first time,” Stosur told tennis.com.au.
“You can’t really explain until you’re in that situation to know what it’s going to feel like going on a court to play in Billie Jean King Cup, compared to a normal tournament – even the first time playing the Australian Open. It really, truly is a different experience.
“So I know I’ve got all these different areas of my own playing career that I can pull from. Having that understanding, when someone’s really nervous or something, to know, ‘oh yeah I totally get it’. It’s not going to be a surprise if that happens. You can then try and navigate that together and come out on top, or in a good way.
“Alicia’s done an amazing job in this role, with her leadership with the players. Everyone always wants to be part of the team; there’s a great team culture. The two finals that we made … everyone’s very, very proud of that and hopefully one day we can go that one step further.
“I think the camaraderie between the players and everything that she’s helped create over a really long time is vitally important to try and keep emulating and really working on.
“No doubt I’ll probably call Alicia a number of times for a bit of advice here and there (laughter). But I’d love to just try and keep the foundations that she’s been able to build.
“You knew she fully believed in you on the court. As a player I always felt that and knew that was important. Certainly that’s one thing I want to try and pass on now in this new role.”
Stosur finished her Billie Jean King Cup career with 29 singles victories – an Australian record – plus a glittering 10-1 record in doubles.
In her last match in the competition, she partnered with Storm Hunter to pip British duo Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls and send Australia into the 2022 final in Glasgow.
It was the same thing she did alongside Ash Barty against Belarus, a decisive doubles rubber victory in Brisbane which propelled the Aussie team into the 2019 final.
She played 34 ties in total, building a 39-21 win-loss overall.
Stosur ended her playing career just a few months after that 2022 Billie Jean King Cup final, at this year’s Australian Open.
The former world No.4 and 2011 US Open singles champion said she was “super excited” to explore this next phase of her career.
“For a long time I’d obviously been very interested in Australian tennis, especially the girls’ side,” she explained.
“This year I was happy just to be home and not worry too much (about my next steps). Obviously I did the commentary and that side of things, so I feel like I’ve kept my foot in the door, at least in the tennis world.
“Without a question I was going to stay in the sport; I just hadn’t fully worked out exactly how. And then this started being a possibility.
“So I’m glad that it’s ended up being this role.”