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Baudinet confirms Davis Cup return

Tuesday 7 September 2021 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Sports, Tennis

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Baudinet confirms Davis Cup return
Cook Islands tennis player Brett Baudinet at the Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji. 19052902

Cook Islands tennis player Brett Baudinet will be joining the Pacific Oceania Davis Cup team this week for the Asia Oceania Group Three tournament in Amman, Jordan.

The tournament which will be held next week was originally scheduled for Vietnam in June but got postponed due to Covid-19.

The Rarotonga-based Baudinet was last week unsure of competing but yesterday confirmed he would be taking part in the prestigious event.

However he may not be captaining the side after Oceania Tennis joint executive officer Richard Breen was named the team skipper following the earlier uncertainty surrounding Baudinet’s participation.

“I will be leaving the country this Thursday and after spending a night in Auckland, I will fly to Doha and then to Jordan,” Baudinet said.

The decision to participate at the event was not an easy one to make. The Pacific Oceania’s most experienced – and successful – player, who made his debut back in 2000, is facing the prospect of not being able to return home until next year.

Baudinet is still trying to get an MIQ voucher in Auckland, so he can return home after the competition, while his wife is also due to give birth to their second child next month in the United States.

He also has a number of businesses to take care of in Rarotonga including a new operation in the Avarua township. 

“At the end of the day, it’s all about representing our country and playing in the Davis Cup which is a huge honour for me. I would never want to give up the opportunity of playing in the Davis Cup so I decided to take that leap and head off to play,” Baudinet said.

After the tournament, he will join his wife Maya in the United States for the birth of their second child.

“We are unable to get MIQ space, we will have to wait until they have some space and that will be some months away. We are looking at minimum of four months away.

“I think there are a lot of people who have concerns about travelling and with the fact the whole team is vaccinated, we need to start looking at how we can start living in this world with Covid around us. We now need to find ways to get on with life.”

Pacific Games singles champion Colin Sinclair from the Northern Marianas has been competing in Europe for much of the year and will be the team’s number one in Jordan.

However, the number two spot is up for grabs after the man he beat in the gold medal match, Papua New Guinea’s Matthew Stubbings, had to pull out.

Stubbings has been replaced by Tahiti’s Heimanarii Lai San, who along with Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy will be flying in from University in the US to make their senior Davis Cup debut.

Pacific Oceania won promotion from Asia Oceania Group Four when they last competed in the Davis Cup two years ago.

Last season’s competition was cancelled because of Covid-19 and Baudinet said they were looking forward to representing the Pacific once again.

“Pretty excited obviously because we were all pretty bummed missing last year,” he said.

“Naturally with Covid that just put a stop to it so we’re pleased that even though Vietnam didn’t go ahead this year we’re still moving ahead in Jordan and we’re all eager to get out there so exciting.”

Even with the pandemic causing so much disruption, confidence was high.

“I actually think with the difficulty of Covid we’re not the only country that’s actually going to be having these difficulties,” Baudinet said.

“I think it may present us a good opportunity here where some of the other teams might not be as strong as they could have been and I’m pretty confident that, with our team this year, we’re going to be in a solid position to have a good run at making the top two so we can move up to Group Two this year.”

The Pacific Oceania team is due to arrive in Jordan this Sunday, three days before the competition gets underway.

  • RK/RNZ