Aussie Junior Davis and Fed Cup teams selected
Australia's Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams have been selected ahead of their Asia/Oceania qualifying ties in Bendigo on 24-29 April 2012.
Sixteen-year-old Daniel Guccione (Bundoora, Vic) will be joined by Thanasi Kokkinakis (Seacombe Heights, SA) and Li Tu (Adelaide, SA) to represent Australia at the Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania qualifying tie in Bendigo, Victoria from 24-29 April 2012.
Guccione, who played for Australia in last year’s world final in Mexico and who posted a very positive campaign over in Asia recently, will lead Kokkinakis and Tu in their first Junior Davis Cup event for the country.
Australian Junior Davis Cup Captain Mark Woodforde said he couldn’t wait to be in Bendigo to motivate this young team on the sidelines.
“I’m looking forward to working with the boys,” said Woodforde.
“Daniel achieved some excellent results at several ITF junior events in Asia in March and his experience competing last year for Australia will help the others feel comfortable on court.
“Thanasi was an orange boy for the Australian team at the tie against Korea last weekend, which will surely give him a boost in confidence.
“He and Li have been working hard on the Australian Pro Tour circuit in recent months and I hope they can bring their match play experience to Bendigo.”
The Junior Fed Cup Asia/Oceania qualifying tie will take place in Bendigo together with the boys’ event.
Fourteen-year-old Naithka Bains (Brisbane, Qld), a member of the AIS Pro Tour Program and who won three ITF junior titles in a row late last year, will play alongside Isabelle Wallace (East Bentleigh, Vic) and Zoe Hives (Kingston, Vic).
AIS Head Women’s Coach and Junior Fed Cup Captain Nicole Pratt said the event will be exciting for the girls as they make their debut for Australia and look to qualify for the world finals.
“This will be the first time Naithka, Isabelle and Zoe will play for their country and they are keen to put Australia in a strong position to defend the 2011 Junior Fed Cup crown,” said Pratt.
“The girls have all netted some good results lately, with Wallace particularly in form after winning her second national junior title at the Optus 16s Claycourt Championships in Ipswich, Queensland last week.
“Zoe was very pleased with being appointed to the team and her success in New Zealand in February has put her in good stead to compete in a couple of weeks.”
The junior teams announcement comes fittingly after Australia’s Davis Cup team secured a 5-0 win over Korea in Brisbane in a Asia/Oceania Zone Group 1 second round tie over Easter, and before the Fed Cup team head off to compete against Germany in a world group play-off tie in Stuttgart next week.
This is the second time Australia has hosted a Junior Davis and Fed Cup Asia/Oceania tie in regional Victoria, the last time being in Shepparton in 2009.