(Adds details, quotes)
* Jaite replaces Vazquez as Davis Cup captain
* Mariano Zabaleta appointed as assistant
* Promotion of juniors key part of job
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Martin Jaite, Argentina’s former world number 10 who coached compatriots David Nalbandian and Gaston Gaudio, was named as his country’s Davis Cup captain for the next two years on Friday.
Jaite, who played in the Davis Cup and won 12 singles titles on the ATP circuit, replaces Modesto Vazquez, whose team lost the country’s fourth final against Spain earlier this month.
“This is a dream I’ve had since I stopped playing tennis. I’m happy and feel very honoured by this appointment,” the 47-year-old Jaite, who reached his highest ranking in July 1990, said in a statement from the Argentine Tennis Association (AAT).
Former tour player Mariano Zabaleta will be Jaite’s assistant while Vazquez was confirmed in the other role he has held since 2008 as head of the AAT’s development department.
“Martin is a highly qualified professional, intimately linked to tennis with deep knowledge not only of the professional circuit but of Argentina’s juniors,” AAT president Arturo Grimaldi said.
“For us, this is a key factor in this (captain’s) job thinking above all of the promotion of juniors in the Davis Cup in the long term.”
Jaite, whose singles record in the Davis Cup was 14-17, has for the last 12 years been director of the Buenos Aires Open tournament, part of the Latin American claycourt circuit on the ATP tour.
Zabaleta, 33, was a brilliant junior who went on to win three senior titles before he retired last year.
Argentina’s Davis Cup finals include one in 1981 during the Guillermo Vilas era and three since 2006 but they have never won the trophy, most recently losing to Spain in Seville and at home in 2008. They also lost the 2006 final to Russia in Moscow.
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by John Mehaffey and Ken Ferris; to query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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