• Rafter ready to stay as Australian Davis Cup skipper

    9/16/12 7:11 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Rafter ready to stay as Australian Davis Cup skipper Patrick Rafter is ready to extend his stay as Australian Davis Cup captain two years after taking the helm in a tentative move.

    The former tennis idol said that he is now ready to stay with the captain's job for the immediate future. "I'd like to think that I'll do a few more years at least and we'll evaluate it then," he told local media.

    "It takes a couple of years to actually establish yourself and get trust from the players and understand the guys. It's going to take a little bit and I think it requires a length of time for it to have any impact."

    Rafter has been working with the odd couple combination of teenaged Bernard Tomic, whose work ethic has been questionable, and 31-year-old veteran Lleyton Hewitt, a decade ago the young protege of Rafter, then at the height of his tennis powers and a national sporting idol.

    Jobs as Aussie captain don't change hands often, with Rafter, 39, only fifth man to hold the post in the last six decades. He came aboard after the retirement of John Fitzgerald , who served almost ten years.

    The Cup holds a special place in national tennis lore for the 28-time champion nation. "A lot of the guys internationally think it doesn't fit into their schedule, but I think it's one of the most important things you can do," said Rafter, who was not shy about criticizing Tomic prior to the weekend tie with Germany and advising the youngster to work harder and take his career seriously.

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