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Pat Rafter named Tennis Australia’s new Director of Performance
Two time Grand Slam champion, former world No.1 and Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter has been announced as Tennis Australia's new Director of Performance.
The role, effectively the most powerful position in Australian professional tennis, reports directly into Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley.
Rafter will start in the role on 1st February 2015, immediately after the Australian Open
Commenting on his appointment, Rafter stated “it's a challenge I am really looking forward to.
“There is so much I can learn but also a lot I think I can contribute (and) I feel the time is right to step into this role and help us take the next step."
Speaking about the challenge he faces, Rafter added "I think about it all the time. What can we do better? What can our kids be doing that can make them better than any of the kids from other countries? What more can they do to be the best?
“I would like everyone to know that I am not coming into this role early next year saying that I have all the answers. Far from it. I am going to take my time, listen, watch and learn.
“But I also think there is a lot I have gleaned from years on the tour being around a lot of great players, coaches and people that can help us get better and better."
Tennis Australia President Steve Healy welcomed the appointment, stating “it is extremely rare for one of the greats to take on a role such as this. In fact this could be a first.
"That just exemplifies Pat Rafter the person and this great Australian's commitment to the sport of tennis."
Craig Tiley also expressed his delight in making the appointment, but asked the public to give the new Performance Director time to settle into the role.
Tiley explained "Pat is an outstanding person, strong leader and terrific mentor. His principles and personal ideology align very strongly with what we want young Australians to achieve in world tennis.
"What he has already done with the Davis Cup team is a credit to his leadership and we have high hopes for him in this role. It is a high pressure role, which is why we have taken a long time to get it right. Indeed he has been performing a significant part of it already as part of his Davis Cup responsibilities.
"While pressure is certainly something Pat is used to and handles well, I would urge our wonderful tennis loving public to give him time and room to get into this role and do it his way. Because he has shown that his way works.”
Image courtesy of Tennis Australia.
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