Kathy Rinaldi, who led the US Billie Jean King Cup team to a title in 2017 and two more finals appearances, has announced that she will step down as the captain after the 2023 finals. Rinaldi, who is also the head of women's tennis for USTA Player Development, said that it was an "incredible ride" to be in charge of the team for more than six years.
The USTA made the announcement thanking Rinaldi for her service and dedication to the team. Rinaldi became the captain of the US team, formerly known as the Fed Cup, in December 2016, succeeding Mary Joe Fernandez, and was the first female captain since Billie Jean King in 2000. In her first year as captain, Rinaldi guided the US team to its first title since 2000, defeating Belarus 3-2 in the final.
The following year, Rinaldi led the US team to another final but lost to the Czech Republic 3-0. In 2021, Rinaldi took the US team to the semifinals of the revamped Billie Jean King Cup Finals, which were held in Budapest, Hungary. The team included Serena Williams, Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. However, they were defeated by eventual champions Russia 3-1.
During her playing days, the impressive American attained a career-high seventh ranking and also reached the 1984 Wimbledon finals. Rinaldi said in a statement, "It has been an incredible ride for six-plus years. I certainly hope I made Billie Jean [King] proud. I have so much love and admiration for her and for her iconic impact on women in sports, and for the impact she and Ilana [Kloss] continue to have on my life.”
Rinaldi will remain in her role as the head of women's tennis for USTA Player Development, where she oversees coaching, training, and mentoring for American female players. The USTA said that it will name a new captain for the US Billie Jean King Cup team in due course. Rinaldi will lead the U.S. team one last time at the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals, to be held November 7-12 in Seville, Spain where they will compete in Group A alongside defending champion Switzerland and the Czech Republic.