Oz men's tennis prospects brightest in years: Fitzgerald

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Melbourne, Dec. 7 (ANI): Australia's men's tennis prospects are at their brightest in years, claims Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald and Davis Cup coach Todd Woodbridge were at Melbourne Park on Monday to watch Australia's junior Davis Cup champions, Queenslander Jason Kubler, South Australian Luke Saville and Joey Swaysland, from Wagga in country NSW, hold aloft their miniature version of the trophy.

The young trio beat Great Britain in the final in Mexico to win the 16 years and under title for the second time in three years.

Fitzgerald felt confident about the future for Australia, who have been relegated from the world group to the Asia-Oceania zone after forfeiting a senior Davis Cup tie in April after refusing to travel to India due to concerns about security.

"I think in the last four years that player development has made massive inroads. You hear some people saying stuff out there but I'm at the coal-face of it and what I see is that player development has changed dramatically in the last four years," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Fitzgerald, as saying.

"These boys are part of the results from the past four years and I think in the age group from 16 down to 13 I would argue that it's the best group of players we've had in the last two decades. We've got the potential to have larger numbers coming through," he added.

Fitzgerald said the biggest difficulty now was for those players to make a successful transition to the senior ranks.

He felt that the appointment of Spaniard Felix Mantilla to the Tennis Australia coaching staff and their exposure to more clay-court training and competition would make an impact. (ANI)

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