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Mattographer
Dec 25th, 2004, 11:29 PM
Alexander's high hopes

December 25, 2004

JOHN Alexander has a simple explanation for taking on the Australian Fed Cup captaincy with the team at its lowest ebb.

"I think I can make a difference. I think I can help," Alexander said yesterday after being named as successor to Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

The former Davis Cup winner and top-10 player was selected from a field of 12 applicants and, ultimately, edged out French Open semi-finalist Nicole Bradtke and Geoff Masters. Alexander, 53, is the first man to fill the role since Neale Fraser in 1978.

"I don't think gender is an issue," he said. "Tennis in Australia and Tennis Australia are going through some significant changes at this moment and probably the pointy end is the realisation that we only have one male player in the top 100 and three female players in the top 100.

"But there is a commitment to change. In some ways, [my appointment] might be seen as a very brave decision, but I think it's evident of Tennis Australia's commitment to change and trying to turn things around."

In the absence of team spearhead Alicia Molik, Australia was this year relegated from the Fed Cup World Group for the first time in history.

But Alexander said the state of tennis in Australia was anything but dire. "It has a very healthy future. We have a female player knocking on the door of the top 10. In fact, if you did a ranking over the last six months you'd find Alicia would be well and truly in the top 10 and we also have someone else who is headed for the top 50 in the short-term in Samantha Stosur.

"Our team is very much like when John Newcombe took over the

Davis Cup team when it was at rock bottom.

"Maybe we're at rock bottom right now for various reasons but, strangely enough, we can look at our players and our team would be capable of beating any team in the world.

"You've got to look at it as Alicia can beat anyone, Alicia with [Wimbledon champion] Rennae [Stubbs] can beat any pair in doubles and our other players are perfectly capable of winning matches on any given day.

"That may not have been the case three years ago but it certainly is the case now.

Alexander's initial aim is to steer Australia back into the World Group and added that with the 13th-ranked Molik at his disposal, that shouldn't be a problem.

"When you've got a Dennis Lillee in your team, you can be a very successful cricket captain," he said of his star charge.

"Alicia is potentially the world's No.1 player. She has demonstrated that.

"Alicia is someone who is a sensitive person and maybe didn't fully realise her ability, her potential."

The Daily Telegraph

Gowza
Dec 25th, 2004, 11:50 PM
good to see he is so positive, not sure about the alicia number 1 thing although it would be nice. sam stosur 'is headed for the top 50 in the SHORT term'? what's up with that? do they mean they dont believe she will stay in there or the opposite and think she will rapidly move past that rank and upwards.

anyway, seems like a good change! and i believe australia can potentially beat any team out there.

TS
Dec 26th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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"Alicia is potentially the world's No.1 player. She has demonstrated that.



:lol:

One of the more ridiculous quote's I've read lately. LOL.

SpikeyAidanm
Dec 26th, 2004, 10:50 AM
Sorry but we would better off with no captain than with Alexander.

Mr_Molik
Dec 26th, 2004, 10:59 AM
i disagree. john is an extremely experienced player having won the davis cup before and i believe he has good knowledge of womens tennis (he often commentates for womens matches and seems interested unlike other male commentators). i think he will do a better job than an average female player like bradtke.

SpikeyAidanm
Dec 26th, 2004, 11:04 AM
lol, I just don't like his voice/him in person

Fraggle
Dec 26th, 2004, 11:37 PM
I think what he meant by short term was that in the not too distant future she will crack the top 50.....I think he is a great choice, would have preferred Geoff Masters, but JA should be excellent anyway

louloubelle
Dec 29th, 2004, 04:10 AM
First week in the job and JA seems a bit delerious here!! Alicia for no. 1 ... we wish :)


He'll certainly talk the talk, as for walking the walk - lets hope so.

It will be interesting to see how he and Rennae get along. I can remember quite a few years ago when he interviewed Rennae on channel 7 sport and Rennae was saying that the Aus women tennis players weren't being supported by TA coaching-wise. JA then was quite quick to point out the poor performances of the current women (McQuillan, Guse, Godridge etc...) saying that it wasn't worth TA's while investing money into these players.
Then suddenly Rennae was off air and couldn't be reached. Coincidental maybe :confused: or maybe she thought he was talking crap and didn't deserve a response :confused:

Postcard
Dec 31st, 2004, 10:47 AM
It's sounding very positive... :cool:

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,11815787%255E3162,00.html

AUSTRALIAN Fed Cup captain John Alexander will call a meeting of all elite Australian women players in Melbourne next month to clear the decks after a vexed 2004 campaign cast the team out of the world group...

Postcard
Dec 31st, 2004, 11:30 PM
JA's comments sound good. :) Alicia's comments are a bit worrying. :confused:

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,11823107%255E3162,00.html

ALICIA Molik will not decide on whether to play in Australia's first Fed Cup tie under John Alexander's captaincy until at least next month...