Tennis New Zealand Appoints Kelly Evernden as New Davis Cup Captain

Sunday, 09 January 2022

Tennis New Zealand have appointed Kelly Evernden (Ngati Porou, Ngati Maru) as its new Davis Cup Captain. Evernden is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished professional players, reaching a career high ATP ranking of 31 and winning 3 ATP titles. He represented New Zealand in Davis Cup for ten years between 1985 and 1994, playing in 20 ties during some of New Zealand’s greatest years in the competition.  

“It’s fantastic to have Kelly join us as Davis Cup Captain for the next two years. The appointments panel were very impressed with Kelly’s vision for the future of tennis in New Zealand and we believe he will fit perfectly into our High Performance team. His experience as a professional is something all our players will benefit from and his enthusiasm for working with both our established pros and our up and coming players is really evident.” Said Tennis NZ Chief Executive Julie Paterson. 

Alistair Hunt has stepped down from the role, after leading the side since 2013. “Our thanks go to Alistair for all his work as Captain over the last eight years. The fact the team are in the position they are in World Group 1 is testament to his hard work and determination over this period.” Said Paterson 

As well as leading the side for Davis Cup ties, the non-playing Captain’s role has been expanded to include more regular mentoring and support for Davis Cup players and wider squad members outside of Davis Cup windows, with the ability to travel and support players at key times throughout the season.   

Evernden will predominantly fulfil the role from his base in Seattle but will also travel to meet with players, something Tennis NZ High Performance Director Christophe Lambert thinks will be of great benefit. “Having someone of Kelly’s stature leading our Davis Cup team is brilliant for New Zealand tennis. With many of our top players playing college tennis in the US, Kelly will be able to spend plenty of time mentoring them alongside their college coaches, he will also get the chance to link up with our ATP pros regularly as well.” Said Lambert. 

Evernden is excited by the challenge of working with New Zealand’s top male players. “Representing New Zealand in Davis Cup meant everything to me as a player, and to now be able to do so as Captain is a great honour. I really enjoyed my time with the team in Newport back in September for the most recent tie. We have a couple of very experienced senior ATP pros and some talented young up and coming players, the job is to get the right chemistry and effort from those selected to give us a fighting chance. I’m really looking forward to getting to work alongside Christophe, Marina and the rest of the team at Tennis NZ.” 

New Zealand’s next tie is scheduled for 4 & 5 March against Uruguay. New Zealand are designated as the home nation, however border restrictions mean a neutral venue must be found, with Las Vegas a possible option. “The tie is the week before Indian Wells and we think the West Coast of the USA is the best fit. At this stage the most likely venue is in Las Vegas, but we do have some options.” Said Lambert. 

Evernden will begin his role from 1 February, taking charge of his first tie in March.  

More News

Kiwis find out their Australian Open opponents

Sunday, 16 January 2022

There will be at least one New Zealander in the second round of the men’s double...

Kiwis bow out of Aussie Open lead up tournaments

Thursday, 13 January 2022

It’s been a disappointing day for the two New Zealanders at their respective WTA...

Routliffe through to semi-finals in Adelaide

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Erin Routliffe and her Polish partner Alicja Rosolska are through to the semi-fi...