Newcombe and Roche to retire from Davis Cup

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The Independent Online

The successor to John Newcombe as Australian Davis Cup captain would be announced before the Davis Cup semi-finals, Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard said today.

Pollard said former Australian representatives John Fitzgerald, Geoff Masters, Wally Masur and Peter McNamara had applied for the job, which Newcombe planned to vacate after Australia's defense campaign in 2000.

Newcombe had requested that his successor be named before the July 14-16 semi-final in Brisbane, Australia, in a bid to ensure a smooth transition, said Pollard.

"We are seeking a captain who will not only lead us at Davis Cup, but also assist in achieving other objectives such as Grand Slam victories and top 10 rankings for Australian players," he added.

Australia advanced to the semi-finals after a 3-2 quarter-final win against Germany at Memorial Road, Adelaide, over the weekend.

The defending titlists will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Brazil and the Slovak Republic.

Tony Roche is also retiring, although Pollard said a decision on the appointment of a Davis Cup coach would not be made until after interviews with all the candidates for the captaincy.

Newcombe said he decided to retire last year but had committed himself to another year after Australia defeated France in the final at Nice last December.

"Seven years is a long time, it's very demanding," he said of the job. "I have a life apart from this - that's what I want to go back to."

Newcombe said the appointment of another captain-coach combination, rather than a captain to assume both roles, was the best option for Tennis Australia.