Shepparton VIC 3630, Australia, 24 July 2014 | Tennis Australia

Shepparton will host next year’s Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia Oceania final qualifying tie from 8-13 April 2015, taking place at the Shepparton Lawn Tennis Association and Tatura Lawn Tennis Club.

The announcement was made today by Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon Damian Drum, MLC, alongside Greater Shepparton Mayor Cr Jenny Houlihan and Tennis Australia Tournaments Development Manager Francis Soyer.

“I’m delighted to see this major international junior tennis event come to the Goulburn Valley region that I grew up in,” Mr Drum said.

“This will not only inspire boys and girls to pick up a racquet, it will bring a significant economic boost to Shepparton and Tatura through players, coaches, officials and spectators being tourists to the region.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is proud to contribute $10,000 through the Significant Sporting Event programs to getting this event to Shepparton, and I urge all Victorians to get along to see our stars of the future make their first steps on the international tennis stage.”

Mayor Houlihan said the local community was excited to host the prestigious event.

“We have a proud history of hosting major tennis events and look forward to welcoming the world’s top junior tennis players to Shepparton in 2015,” she said.

“This will be the second time we have hosted this event and flows on the back of a very successful Country Week tennis tournament held in February this year, which attracted more than 180 teams and 1100 players to the region.

“We are very pleased to be able to partner with Shepparton and Tatura Lawn Tennis Clubs to host this event. It is a great opportunity to showcase our fantastic sporting facilities and all our region has to offer.”

Tennis Australia Tournaments Development Manager Francis Soyer said Shepparton was the ideal venue to host the tie.

“Shepparton was a very popular venue when the town hosted Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competition in 2009, with Pat Rafter and Alicia Molik captaining Australia’s junior teams,” he said.

“Shepparton is a tennis-loving town with great facilities, and that makes it the perfect destination for an international event of this standard. We look forward to returning in 2015.”

More than 150 competitors, officials and staff from all over the world will converge on the Greater Shepparton area for six days of fierce competition, which will see the top four teams in both the boys’ and girls’ events progress to the world finals at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, in late 2015.

Australia has a proud history of Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competition. Rising star Luke Saville (SA), along with Jason Kubler (Qld) and Joey Swaysland (NSW), won the Junior Davis Cup title in Mexico in 2009 after winning the qualifying event in Shepparton, and Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA) led the Australian team to the final in Mexico in 2012. The Junior Fed Cup team last won the world title in 2011, and finished runner-up in 2013.

Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup have been the launching pad for many of the sport’s top players, including Rafael Nadal (ESP), Roger Federer (SUI), Lleyton Hewitt (AUS), Amelie Mauresmo (FRA), Jennifer Capriati (USA) and Lindsay Davenport (USA).

The last time Australia hosted a Junior Davis and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia Oceania final qualifying tie was in Bendigo in 2012.

Australia has won the Junior Davis Cup title six times and the Junior Fed Cup title five times since the international teams competition began in 1985.