NEW YORK Former world number one Jim Courier is the new captain of the United States Davis Cup team, the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) said on Wednesday.
Courier succeeded Patrick McEnroe who resigned last month after 10 years at the helm.
"It's something that I certainly aspired to," Courier said in an interview on USTA's website (www.usta.com).
"I definitely thought that being the captain would be something that I'd enjoy, and now I get to see if I will," said the 40-year-old who retired as a player in 2000.
Courier held the number one world ranking for 58 weeks in 1992 and 1993 and won four grand slam tournaments, the 1991 and 1992 French Opens and the 1992 and 1993 Australian Opens.
Courier helped his country win the Davis Cup in 1992 and 1995 and had a 16-10 singles record in the competition.
His first assignment as captain will be to lead the U.S. against hosts Chile in a first-round match in March.
"We're certainly going to have a test down there, there's no doubt about that, playing in South America, likely to be on clay," Courier said.
The U.S. won the 2007 Davis Cup under McEnroe's guidance.
"There's been a great camaraderie amongst the guys playing for Patrick over the past decade, and if we can keep that same spirit, I think we'll have a great chance to win," Courier said.
"There's a lot of diversity on the squad," he noted. "You've got the veteran players, with Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, the Bryans, and hopefully James Blake can get back in the conversation."
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond)