WODONGA Tennis Centre curator Shayne Ried says the centre could host a Davis Cup tie within 12 months.
Two recent bids have fallen short but Wodonga has not given up hope of bringing the historic 113-year-old International Tennis Federation men’s teams event to the Border for the first time.
Australia, which has not played in the elite World Group since 2007, will play away to Uzbekistan on April 5 for a spot in the World Group playoffs.
“This time next year you’d like to think you may be setting up to host a Davis Cup,” Ried, who has worked on the courts at Wimbledon, said.
“If a tie comes up and they choose grass, Wodonga will absolutely put in for it and I think 2014 is a real possibility.”
Wodonga missed out on ties against South Korea and China last year to Brisbane (hardcourt) and Geelong (grass), while Mildura hosted Zimbabwe on grass in 1998.
Tennis Australia provided temporary grandstands to create a boutique showcourt at Geelong, with seating for more than 4000.
A similar set-up would be needed at Wodonga.
“We are always in the running but it depends on the tie, if it’s away or at home,” Ried said.
“We will always put our hat in the ring but a lot of things have to go in your favour.”
Wodonga is keen to grow its reputation as one of the premier grasscourt venues in Australia.
Last week it hosted more than 1000 amateur players for Victorian Country Week, while it hosts the Labour Day tournament next month and co-hosts the World Schools Championship in April.
Ried believes the recent announcement of more than $1 million in funding for 10 plexicushion courts — the same surface used at the Australian Open — will only enhance Wodonga’s chances of hosting more major events.
“It will basically make us a world class tennis facility,” he said.
“You’ve got two grand slam surfaces (grass and plexicushion).
“The facility will be 12 months of the year.
“It’s a great reward for the tireless work put in by a lot of people.”
And Ried defended the decision not to install clay courts.
Tennis Australia opened eight new clay courts at Melbourne Park last year and believes the venue is the best surface to learn on.
“I wouldn’t be rushing into clay courts just yet locally because we don’t know how they will handle the weather,” Ried said.