This will be Baudinet’s 14th year representing the country in the regional team at the premier international team event in men’s tennis.
The Pacific Oceania Davis Cup team consist of only four of the top players from 18 Pacific nations.
Apart from Baudinet, the team will also have Heve Kelley (Tahiti), Aymeric Mara (Vanuatu), Colin Sinclair (Northern Mariana Islands) and skipper Robert Krause from Fiji.
“Davis Cup is like the world cup of tennis held every year. There are multiple levels from World Group, to Group 1, 2, 3 and 4,” explains Baudinet.
“Pacific Oceania is currently in group three with the high goal of regaining our position back into group two, which is the highest we have ever got to.
“Each group consist of eight nation teams competing with the top two teams being promoted up a group the following year, and the bottom two being dropped.
“Last year, we regained our position in group three but had a close opportunity to move up to group two. This year I believe we have a very good opportunity again and the team is very excited to take the other nations to the court.”
Baudinet, who represented the Cook Islands at a number of international events, started playing tennis at a tender age of 5.
Thirty years later, he still gets the opportunity to represent the country at the world level.
He said it is hard to put in words how honoured and proud he is to have this opportunity.
“Tennis has always been a sport in the Cooks where we bring out some very talented players. I mean, have you seen the Pukapukans play down at the courts, it’s awesome!” Baudinet said.
“Malcolm Kajer (national coach) is doing a fantastic job with our kids at the courts and is providing a fantastic platform for children to not only learn a great sport, but also to gain valuable life skills in being competitive, driven, responsible, sociable, as well as to get the chance to see the world.
“He did all this for me so I’m very grateful for him and what he is still doing for Tennis Cook Islands. I hope our kids will get the same opportunities I have with tennis one day.”
Baudinet said playing in Sri Lanka would be an emotional experience as he made his Davis Cup debut there.
“Sri Lanka is actually where I played my very first Davis Cup in 1999. So it will be great to go back there and compete again,” he said.
“Hopefully times have changed as I recall back then an old man coming on to the courts after every match, with a white paint bucket and a brush, and touching up the court lines. It was very official. Now the regulations are so strict they can’t be doing that anymore.”
Baudinet has been keeping up with the fitness playing practice matches at the tennis court and squash on Friday evenings.
“My match play has always been consistent in recent years and it’s just a matter of keeping up with my fitness, which is why I play squash.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have many top level tennis players that I can train with so I rely a lot on squash to keep my fitness up.
“It was great to play the Tahiti Open a few months ago and to win the doubles tournament as my main focus in Davis Cup is the doubles.”
The Davis Cup will be held from July 17 to 22.