Bendigo, Victoria, 15 February 2012 | Tennis Australia

Bendigo is set to host Asia Oceania qualifying of the prestigious Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup, an international team event for the world’s top junior players.

Australia’s former Davis Cup captain and Tennis Australia board member John Fitzgerald made the announcement at the Bendigo Tennis Association today, and was joined by City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Alec Sandner, Victoria’s Minister for Sport Hugh Delahunty and President of the Bendigo Tennis Association, Paul Henshall.

“This is a significant international event and I’m thrilled to welcome it to Bendigo for the first time,” Cr Sandner said.

“Greater Bendigo has become a sought after destination for important sporting and major events because we can provide the facilities required to host these events.

“Major events of this type are also very important for our local economy.  They put our city on the map and provide local residents with an opportunity to see top class events in their own city, increasing our region’s livability,” Cr Sandner continued.

“Off the back of hosting last year’s successful Pro Tour event, the William Loud Bendigo International, the Bendigo Tennis Association is developing a reputation as a launch pad for up-and-coming tennis champions,” Mr Delahunty said.

“This year’s 2012 Junior Davis and Junior Fed Cup will further cement that reputation with more than 96 of the best young talents from the region out to do their countries proud.”

“The Bendigo Tennis Association is delighted to host the 2012 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Federation Cup Oceania /Asia Qualifying Event,” President Paul Henshall said.

“The hosting of such a prestigious event builds on the collaborative relationship which has developed between the Bendigo Tennis Association, City of Greater Bendigo and Tennis Australia”

“It confirms the Bendigo Tennis Association’s position as the leading Regional events provider within the National Tennis Community, adding to our involvement in the delivery of major events including the Australian Junior Open Qualifiers, William Loud Bendigo International and School Sports Australia’s Primary and Secondary Schools National Championships.”

“The BTA is also delighted to have secured funding from the State Government to support the delivery of the event, through Significant Sporting Events Grant program. We would like to thank the continued support of Hon Hugh Delahunty, Minister for Sport, and Hon Damian Drum, Member for Northern Victoria, for their assistance in gaining funding through this program.”

Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia Oceania qualifying  will take place at the Bendigo Tennis Association from the 24-29 April and be organised by Tennis Australia in conjunction with City of Greater Bendigo. This is the second time the Tie has been held in regional Victoria – in 2009 Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club was the host and Pat Rafter and Alicia Molik captained Australia’s junior teams.

Close to 150 competitors and officials from more than16 countries in the Asia Oceania region will head to Bendigo for six days of competition which will see the top four teams in both the boys and girls events progress to the World Final in Europe in October.

Junior Davis and Fed Cup has been the launching pad for many of the game’s top players, including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Jim Courier, Amelie Mauresmo, Jelena Dokic, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, Belinda Woolcock and Brooke Rischbeith are the current Junior Fed Cup champions.

Reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon Junior champion Luke Saville, along with Jason Kubler and Joey Swaysland won Junior Davis Cup in 2009, and Australia’s No.1 player Bernard Tomic led the 2007 team to victory.

Australia has won Junior Davis Cup six times, and Junior Fed Cup five times since the team events began in 1985.

The Australian teams and captains will be selected and announced in March.