The new captain of the Australian Davis Cup team says his focus is on nurturing younger players.

Pat Rafter wants Australia back on top within five years.

Ellen-Maree Elliot reports.

[flashvideo file= /]


The tennis great has a plan for the future, but it’s no quick fix.

Pat Rafter, Davis Cup Captain: “It’s about hard work and there aren’t any secrets and that’s what we’re going to drum into these kids.”

He wants the next generation of potential champions to learn a lot.

Pat Rafter, Davis Cup Captain: “Obviously there’ll be a lot of guidance on how to play in matches, how to construct points and deal with pressures. And they’re the things that myself and Todd and the guys on the road will be helping these kids with.”

Rafter and squad coach, Tony Roche watched juniors from the National Academy go through their paces.

The Australian Davis Cup team has lost their long-held dominance in recent years. The new coach says younger players need to take risks and compete in bigger titles to build up their skills and confidence.

Tony Roche, Davis Cup Coach: “If you’re ranking’s good enough to get into qualifying of a big tournament. Then you should go an play that rather than trying to work on your ranking in the lesser tournaments.”

Pat Rafter, has never won a Davis Cup, despite playing in two finals.

Pat Rafter, Davis Cup Captain: “That’s something I would really love to have won and didn’t achieve. So, it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like sitting on the court instead of playing.”

This year’s Davis Cup finals between France and Serbia, will be held in early December.

Ellen-Maree Elliot, QUT News.