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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 22, 2013


Josh Eagle

Patrick Rafter


MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

DARREN PEARCE:テつ We're here to announce the new coaching arrangements for the Australian Davis Cup team.
PAT RAFTER:テつ A couple of changes for the next few years anyway for Davis Cup.テつ Josh Eagle will be the coach.テつ Tony Roche is stepping aside.テつ He'll stay on as mentor for the Davis Cup team.テつ He has been training, watching the matches.
He has a limited schedule on the road with the guys, but he'll be attending Davis Cup ties and being there doing a very similar role to what I was doing before.
Josh will be spending 30 weeks on the road with the guys, so we feel like he can see the guys and be around them a lot more.テつ So I think we have a really good balance now, so I'm very happy with that.
The Davis Cup tie we'll play against Taiwan next week or the week after will be Lleyton Hewitt, Chris Guccione, Matthew Ebden and Matosevic.テつ We're taking Luke Saville as our hitting partner, and probably be available if anyone gets injured to play.
DARREN PEARCE:テつ Questions.

Q.テつ Pat, did you have a talk with Bernard Tomic?
PAT RAFTER:テつ Had a talk with Bernard the day after he played.テつ It's the first time I made contact with him since early November.テつ We had a great conversation.
Obviously I spoke to him about just going forward, what he thinks about Davis Cup in the future, if he wants to be part of the team.テつ It was really important for us to have contact straightaway.テつ We hadn't made any contact.
Obviously he's playing great tennis and it's a shame not to have him available for the first one in some ways, but in other ways we have to stand firm on our decision not to have him in this team.
When the April tie comes around, providing we win, mind you, I hope he'll be available.テつ He'll be part of the selection team like everyone else.

Q.テつ He is available for April as far as you're concerned?
PAT RAFTER:テつ As far as I'm concerned, yes.

Q.テつ Did he give you that commitment?
PAT RAFTER:テつ Yeah.テつ He didn't jump out of his skin, but he was certainly there to say ‑‑ because the proviso I put on to it was obviously we need to work things out.テつ Hopefully we're still on great terms‑ not great terms, but good terms.テつ I think our last conversation was that.
He needs to respect me and I need to respect him in that manner.テつ If we have a breakdown, then obviously that's not a good thing.テつ But I'll be in contact with him throughout the next few tournaments, be in Indian Wells, and I'll be over there for Miami.テつ Again, this is all providing we win our first tie.
And also, the stipulation was that you're playing well and you show the attitude that you did here at the Australian Open, then you'll be up for selection like all the other guys.

Q.テつ Did you realize there was a situation between you in terms of he was not planning to play the second tie?
PAT RAFTER:テつ No.テつ I read the media, but as I said, I hadn't spoken to him.テつ When I did speak to him in November and told him he wouldn't be selected for the first tie, I said that obviously the second tie, if you're playing well and you're doing all the right things, then you'll be in the selection panel like all the other players.
We make that decision 10 days before the tie, so nothing will be said or talked about before then.テつ It will be mainly making contact with him.テつ But obviously if he's playing like he was at the back end of last year it would be hard to put him in.
If he's playing like he is now, obviously he'll be a starter for sure.

Q.テつ You have any second thoughts about not including him on his form?
PAT RAFTER:テつ No.テつ No.テつ The decision's made.テつ No, you got to stick by your decisions.テつ As I said, in terms of his form and everything, yes, it would be great to have him part of it.
But we had our issues.テつ The reason we left him out was hopefully to teach him a lesson.テつ I think he came back at us pretty well.テつ I think he used that anger, channeled it, and played some great tennis here.
I don't mind how he gets up to playing great tennis.テつ If he wants to use that anger as a catalyst to play great tennis, that's fine.テつ Obviously, it's in our interest to play well.テつ Whatever spurs him on.

Q.テつ Josh, you know the players well.テつ Do they want Bernard back?テつ Are they going to try to talk to him?
JOSH EAGLE:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ Those guys get on well with Bernard.テつ Actually, the whole team gets on fine.テつ They're encouraging him to play.テつ They bump into each other in the locker rooms.
Look, there's no doubt we want him back playing.テつ Hopefully he commits to that.テつ I think most importantly if he commits, that's great.テつ We're well and good.
I think from a team standpoint, yes, for sure they want him back.

Q.テつ You had the same with Marinko directly under your charge.テつ Are they similar characters, Bernard and Marinko, or do you think they're different in terms of that?
JOSH EAGLE:テつ Look, similar in some aspects.テつ But, look, I think the great thing about Marinko that really hurt him last year, he thought just by winning matches and getting his ranking to 60 around the US Open, he thought he was a walk‑up starter for the Davis Cup tie in Hamburg.
Pat made it very clear to him due to his poor behavior when he was representing Australia that he wouldn't be selected.テつ I think that sends a great message to these guys.テつ He went aways, responded magnificently, and finished the year top 50.
Ultimately what we want is we want people to be proud to represent Australia and be honored to represent Australia and really want to do it.テつ I think they're the key messages we're trying to instill, not just in these guys, but also the younger guys coming up.

Q.テつ Pat, did you speak to Bernard after his first match here or after he was eliminated?
PAT RAFTER:テつ After he was eliminated, mate.テつ I don't think it would have been cool for me to talk to him after his first‑round match.

Q.テつ You saw his comment that he wouldn't be making himself available till September.
PAT RAFTER:テつ Yes.

Q.テつ Have you spoken about that with him?
PAT RAFTER:テつ Yes.

Q.テつ It's not an easy tie, obviously.テつ They have some talented players.
PAT RAFTER:テつ Well, I understand Lu has not made himself available, which helps.テつ Obviously, you want the best players playing Davis Cup, because that's what it's all about.
He's a fantastic player.テつ So that makes their team weakened.テつ But they still have Wang and Yang who are very handy players, as well.テつ If their guys are slightly off, they're going to find themselves in a lot of trouble.
We're going to go in there with our best team.テつ The boys have been training very hard.テつ We've been in training camp for the last four days.テつ We're not taking this tie lightly at all.

Q.テつ When do you leave Australia?
PAT RAFTER:テつ We leave Saturday night.テつ Haven't been to this town, but I don't think I want to get there too early is what I'm hearing.

Q.テつ What is the surface?
PAT RAFTER:テつ Fast hard court is what I understand, too.テつ Lleyton and the guys played there a few years ago.テつ I think Gooch beat Lu there.テつ He said it was pretty fast.
So whether or not they resurfaced or done anything different, I don't know.テつ They're using the AO ball here, and I presume it's going to be quick conditions.
DARREN PEARCE:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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