Fitzgerald appointed as Australia's Davis Cup captain for 2001

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The Independent Online

John Fitzgerald and Wally Masur were today named as Australia's new Davis Cup captain and coach to replace retiring pair John Newcombe and Tony Roche next year.

John Fitzgerald and Wally Masur were today named as Australia's new Davis Cup captain and coach to replace retiring pair John Newcombe and Tony Roche next year.

Newcombe and Roche, who have been working in tandem as captain-coach since 1994, guided Australia to Davis Cup triumph last year, clinching the nation's 27th title with a 3-2 grand final win against France at Nice in December.

The incumbent pair will retire after Australia meets Spain in the 2000 Davis Cup final, scheduled for December 8-10 in Barcelona.

The defending titlists advanced to their second successive decider after sweeping Brazil 5-0 in a semifinal last month in Brisbane.

Fitzgerald, who was involved in two Davis Cup winning teams in a career spanning 1982-1992, said he was excited about the prospect of continuing Australia's rich Davis Cup tradition.

"Playing for my country rates among the greatest moments in my playing career, and to sit courtside inspiring our current crop of players to achieve Davis Cup greatness is a challenge I am thrilled to say awaits me," Fitzgerald said.

Masur, who had a 17-15 win-loss record in eight years on the Davis Cup team, said: "It's a great honour to think (Fitzgerald) and I will succeed two Australian legends at the helm of Australia's Davis Cup campaign."

Australia is the second most successful nation in Davis Cup history behind the United States.

A Tennis Australia panel had been interviewing several candidates in Melbourne earlier in the week, including Fitzgerald, Masur, Peter McNamara and Geoff Masters.

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