Tennis New Zealand has appointed Sacha Hughes (nee Jones) to the role of Fed Cup captain ahead of the Asia Oceania zone Group Two tournament in Kuala Lumpur next month.
The 28-year-old former player replaces Neil Carter who resigned earlier this year.
Hughes reached a career high of 150 in the WTA rankings as a player having finished her career representing Australia.
"It was a real honour to be confirmed in the role and it will be wonderful to be part of Fed Cup and give something back to the girls who are now coming up. It is a role where I can offer support to the girls throughout the year as well as during the week of the Fed Cup," Hughes said.
"The motivation is that I have been quietly involved in tennis in Auckland for the past few years and coached some juniors and enjoyed that process. I also am on board with Tennis NZ's strategy with the appointment of High Performance Manager Simon Rea and National Coach Christophe Lambert and I believe in their vision and want to support it."
Tennis New Zealand CEO Julie Paterson is delighted.
"We are excited that Sacha has committed to supporting Tennis New Zealand-it's a real testament to our high performance programme and those leading it. Sacha feels really connected with Tennis New Zealand and wants to do everything that she can to see tennis in New Zealand succeed at a higher level than we ever have previously," Paterson said.
High Performance Manager Simon Rea says Hughes's contribution towards tennis in New Zealand has been substantial to this point and she's exited to give back to a sport she feels like has been really good to her.
"Her empathy for what the playing group will be going through was a really strong factor in the decision to appoint her," Rea said.
"She has a first hand familiarity with the challenges our athletes will be experiencing on a weekly basis on the tour. It's fantastic to have Sacha re-join the New Zealand family with her having finished her playing days representing Australia."
Sacha Hughes reached a career high ranking of 11 in the world as a junior. Her first assignment is leading the New Zealand team at the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 tournament in Kuala Lumpur in June where she will be assisted national coach Christophe Lambert.