Lachlan Hewatt at his coaching clinic with Alicia Molik. Photo: Graham TidyAustralia captain Alicia Molik has backed a redeveloped Lyneham Tennis Centre to host both Fed and Davis cups fixtures and end a 14-year drought for Canberra.
The redevelopment was expected to begin shortly and should be finished early 2015.
Molik was named Fed Cup captain earlier this year and will look to keep Australia in the world group when they play Russia at home in the first round next year.
The 32-year-old has a special link with Canberra.
She started her tennis journey in the capital, playing in the national under-12 championships at Lyneham when she was 11, and she was orange girl for the only Fed Cup tie in Canberra – at AIS Arena in 1999.
Molik felt one of the roles of the two cups was to showcase high quality tennis around the nation.
“Speaking for the Fed Cup, we love playing where we have a lot of true local support and that’s really important for us to engage the local communities,” she told The Canberra Times.
“The goal is always to share it around Australia and to give various cities and venues a chance to conduct and hold the ties, but that’s exciting.
“[Lyneham] is a facility that we’d like to play at down the track and I hope it can happen.”
Part of Molik’s role as Fed Cup captain is to watch the Aussie women play, but she always makes a point of watching Canberra young gun Nick Kyrgios when she can.
Kyrgios made his Davis Cup debut earlier this year, helping Australia return to the world group for 2014.
“[Kyrgios] is going to hold the Davis Cup team in good stead for the next 10 years,” Molik said.
“He’s an incredibly bright talent. He’s one player I make a point of going to watch at Grand Slams, even though I’m there to watch the women.
“I make sure I fit watching Nick into my schedule because he’s exciting, he’s got a lot of talent, but enthusiasm too.”
And she felt the female equivalent of Kyrgios was already an important part of the Fed Cup side.
Ashleigh Barty has played in three grand slam doubles finals and made her Fed Cup debut this year.
“We’ve got a team now that we can win the Fed Cup with,” Molik said.
“Sam [Stosur’s] shown she can beat any player in the world on a good day … and it’s really important Ash has someone to follow in the footsteps of and Sam sets a great example for the younger players in the team.”
Molik was in Canberra to give Ngunnawal junior Lachlan Hewatt and three friends a private lesson at Melba Tennis Club on Monday.
Hewatt won the session after being named Hot Shot of the Year.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.