Woodforde and Pratt to lead juniors
Mark Woodforde and Nicole Pratt will captain Australia's junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams as they contest Asia/Oceania qualifying ties in April.
Tennis stars Mark Woodforde OAM and Nicole Pratt will captain the Australian Junior Davis and Fed Cup teams at next month’s Asia/Oceania qualifying tie, to be held at the Bendigo Tennis Association in Bendigo, Victoria from 24-29 April.
Woodforde, best known for his doubles career, holds 61 doubles titles including 12 Grand Slam titles with partner Todd Woodbridge. He played in 24 Davis Cup ties for Australia, including the phenomenal win with Woodbridge in 1999 over France to secure Australia’s first victory in 13 years.
With a wealth of knowledge and expertise, Woodforde is looking forward to leading the boys’ team during the tie.
“Some of my best ever tennis memories are of representing Australia in Davis Cup and it’s an absolute privilege to be able to work with some of our top young players,” Woodforde said.
“Being part of a team environment is always special and I’m looking forward to working with and encouraging the boys’ to get out there and give it all they’ve got. I also hope the local residents of Bendigo will come down and support us in April.”
Distinguished Fed Cup player and now Head AIS Women’s Coach, Nicole Pratt, will lead the girls’ team in defending the title for Australia. The former world No.35 represented Australia in 20 Fed Cup ties, won one WTA title, five ITF titles and contested the Australian Open 18 times during her career.
“I am excited to be captaining the Junior Fed Cup team and look forward to working with all the girls,” said Pratt.
“The Australian girls won the Junior Fed Cup world final in 2011 so we have big shoes to fill. It will be great to work as part of a team and I know they will also want to put their best foot forward and represent their country to the best of their ability. We are all gearing up for the week in Bendigo.”
Close to 150 competitors and officials from more than 16 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.
Since 1985, Australia has won Junior Davis Cup six times, most recently in 2009 and 2007, while the Junior Fed Cup has been won five times including last year, when Wimbledon Junior Champion Ashleigh Barty led Belinda Woolcock and Brooke Rischbieth to victory.
The Australian Junior Davis and Fed Cup teams will be announced next week.