Melbourne VIC, Australia, 17 April 2015 |

Some of the stories hitting headlines were the Aussies in Fed Cup action, Pat Rafter’s take on the healthy state of Australian tennis, our Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup heroics and the passing of a tennis legend … plus much more. Check out our wrap of the week’s Aussie tennis news.

The Australian Fed Cup team of (L-R) Olivia Rogowska, Casey Dellacqua, captain Alicia Molik, Sam Stosur and Jarmila Gajdosova chat to the press; Henk Koster

Aussie Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik is gearing up for a big weekend in s’Hertogenbosch and says a confidence-boosting performance at this weekend’s tie will give Sam Stosur an edge coming into next month’s French Open. “Sometimes it can just take a run of a win or two and the emotions to ride with it, and it can change your season around,” Molik told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Nick Kyrgios celebrates a point en route to victory over Denis Kudla in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells; Getty Images

Tennis Australia Director of Performance Pat Rafter predicts that with some hard work, the next purple patch for Australian tennis is just around the corner. Rafter called out rising stars Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Bernard Tomic, Omar Jasika and Alex Bolt as the men most likely to help Australia challenge Serbia, Spain and Switzerland for world powerhouse status. The two-time US Open winner told the Daily Telegraph: “The next 10 years, I tell you what, it could be very exciting”. Watch this space.

Australia's victorious Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams plus coaching staff celebrate Australia's first placings in the Asia/Oceania final qualifying competition at the Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club; Trevor Phillips

A blockbuster week of tennis wrapped up in Shepparton (Vic) on Monday, with Australia claiming victory in both the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Asia Oceania Qualifying Finals. The junior teams will now travel to Madrid in September to contest the title decider. But it wasn’t just our rising stars being praised for their performance; the Shepparton News reported “Davis Cup captain Wally Masur was blown away by the condition of the courts when he visited the region last week”. For Shepparton at least, the grass isn’t always greener.

A wildcard entrant into the Optus 18s tournament, Zoe Hives exhibited some impressive tennis, defeating higher ranked players to commendably reach the quarterfinals.

In a big week for rising stars hitting the news headlines, Ballarat (Vic) local Zoe Hives rocketed 184 places up the WTA rankings from world No.677 to a career-high No.493. The rankings rise capped a big week for Hives, who claimed her first professional title at the ITF Futures event at Melbourne Park last Sunday, and captured the attention of the Ballarat Courier.


ANZ Tennis Hot Shots has taken over South Australia’s Riverina region in a big way. Tennis SA Community Tennis Officer Anne-Marie Handke told the Murray Pioneer it was “an exciting time for tennis in the Riverland” with local tennis clubs reporting record increases in junior numbers. Grand Slam champions have to start somewhere…

Roger Federer (L) and Lleyton Hewitt promote the new FAST4 format of tennis in Sydney in January 2015; Getty Images

Heard about FAST4 tennis? The Australian Financial Review took a look at the new tennis format featuring “shorter sets and a revised scoring system, including no advantage and no lets”. The concept was launched by Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt in Sydney in January, and is fast becoming a hit with tennis fans nationwide.

Australia's Thelma Coyne Long competes against Maureen Connolly of the USA in the semifinal of the Women's Singles in the Surrey Championships at Surbiton, Surrey, UK on 29 May 1952; Douglas Miller/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

And finally, some sad news. Australian tennis icon Thelma (Coyne) Long passed away on Tuesday at the grand old age of 96. The Courier Mail paid tribute to the two-time Australian singles champion and inductee into both the Australian and International Halls of Fame.