Sam Stosur has been handed the honour of being announced as the Aussie tennis captain for the Billie Jean King Cup team at the John Newcombe Medals overnight. Stosur is a three-time recipient of the John Newcombe Medal, which went to Alex de Minaur on Monday, and knows just how important the special awwards night is for Aussie players.
And while she is no longer playing, she has added another milestone to her illustrious tennis career in being announced as the Billie Jean King Cup team captain of Australia. Alicia Molik has held the position for 10 years and helped guide Australia to finals in 2019 and 2022.
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However, Molik stunned fans when she moved on to become the new Adelaide International tournament director in her bid to help grow the event. And this left Stosur to take the reins having made her debut for the team 20 years ago.
She mentioned the feeling having played alongside Molik against Colombia when she was just 19 years old, before going on to win a US Open singles titles and seven doubles grand slams. And Stosur thanked her former mentor and said she would carry on the momentum for Aussie women's tennis
“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."
Stosur holds the most win for Australia tennis in her Billie Jean King Cup career with 29 singles victories and a formidable 10-1 record for doubles. Tennis fans were delighted for Stosur having put so much into Australian tennis across her career.
— The First Serve (@TheFirstServeAU) December 11, 2023
— Tom Kelly (@tpwkelly) December 11, 2023
— Have Bold Faith (@TinasTake) December 11, 2023
YOU CAN'T WIN OVA OUR AUSSIE SAM STOSUR.
— Jake Davies 🏴 (@jakedavi5) December 11, 2023
— Stretchandpostie (@Stretchandpost1) December 11, 2023
Alicia Molik wins award at John Newcombe Medal
Earlier in the evening, Molik was awarded the Spirit of Tennis award. During her career, Molik rose to World No.8 in singles and No.6 in doubles and she was also a Fed Cup representative from 1999. After her playing career, Molik, 42, went on to lead Australia to the Billie Jean King Cup final as captain in 2019 at Perth and in 2022 at Glasgow.
De Minaur's second John Newcombe Medal meant he has now joined Ash Barty, Stosur and wheelchair tennis icon Dylan Alcott having won the award multiple times. Nick Kygios, Sam Groth and Hewitt have all won it once. Barty has won the award a record five times.
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