Tennis NZ Announce Billie Jean King Cup Captain for 2023

Thursday, 01 June 2023

Matt Hair (right in photo) with world number 61 Julia Grabher of Austria and brother Alex. Photo / Peter Jones

Tennis NZ today announced Matt Hair as its captain for the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup campaign, taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 24-29 July. Hair, raised in Marlborough, brings more than 20 years of high-level coaching experience in Europe to the role, including eight years working as a coach for the Austrian Tennis Federation and coaching current world number 61 Julia Grabher, competing this week at Roland-Garros.

The Billie Jean King Cup (formerly known as the Fed Cup) is the premier women’s international team’s tennis competition. The captain’s role is in a non-playing capacity, similar to that of a head coach in other sports.

It’s a huge honour to be named as captain for the New Zealand team. We have a talented group of players, with a mix of youth and experience and I’m confident we can get the job done in Malaysia and earn our spot back in Group 1.” Said Hair.

To be able to call on a Kiwi coach of Matt’s experience from both the WTA Tour and from his work within Europe is a huge asset for tennis in New Zealand. We’re committed to providing the best environments we can for both our men’s and women’s national teams and we look forward to Matt’s valuable insights into this.” Said Tennis NZ CEO Julie Paterson.

New Zealand is competing in Asia/Oceania Group 2 and will be hopeful of winning one of the two promotion spots up for grabs, as they did in 2020 when the Group 2 tie was held in Wellington.

Incumbent captain Marina Erakovic was unavailable for the role this year but remains involved as part of the player selection panel. The five players competing in the event will be announced next week.

>> READ MORE about Matt in article published by the Marlborough App

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