Curren SA's new Davis Cup captain

2001-11-15 21:19

Johannesburg - 1985 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Curren has been appointed new non-playing captain of the South African Davis Cup team.

Curren replaces Craig Tiley. Mariaan de Swardt replaces Charlton Eagle as the non-playing captain of the South African women's Fed Cup team.

Malcolm Hayward, chairperson of the Davis and Fed Cup committees at the South African Tennis Association (Sata), said it was important to have non-playing captains based in South Africa and not in the United States, as was the case with Tiley and Eagle.

"The captain's role will be to develop young talent from all races and they will in particular be involved in preparing players for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Kevin is excellently suited to this role. He has many ideas for the development of local talent, and his popularity in most tennis circles will help him to open doors for young players," Hayward said.

Curren on Thursday said he knew he was taking over the captaincy under difficult conditions with South Africa having been demoted to Group II of the Euro/African zone.

"My first duty would be to ensure that South Africa's position is improved. The image of tennis must be developed. Limited funds are available for the game, but the problem is receiving attention, and maybe we will see some improvement next year."

Regarding South Africa's top player Wayne Ferreira, Curren said he still had an important role to play. "I'm talking to him to find out whether he is still interested in the Davis Cup. He is still our top player and can make an important contribution not only with his game, but also as a leader.

"People close to me will help me identify talent, but I believe the captain has the final say in the selection of the team," Curren said.

South Africa's next Davis Cup match is scheduled for May 2002 in Yugoslavia.