Mallory leads Bermuda team into Davis Cup
Ricky Mallory says it will be an ”honour” to lead Bermuda at next month’s Americas Group Three Davis Cup tournament in Bolivia.
The former tennis star has been appointed as Bermuda’s non-playing captain and will also double up as the team’s coach in South America.
“This is the first time being captain/coach and obviously it’s a great honour and I’d like to thank the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association for giving me the opportunity to coach these guys,” Mallory told
The Royal Gazette. “This gives me a chance to give back to a sport that helped mould me and make me the person that I am today.”
Flying the Island’s banner at the upcoming event are Gavin Manders, David Thomas, Jenson Bascome and Philip Cooper.
Mallory is confident the foursome will do themselves and the Island proud in Bolivia.
“With the exception of Gavin, who is training in Boston, I have had these guys for almost three months training,” he said. “I feel these guys are at their peak right now, especially David who is playing some great tennis.”
Manders suffered multiple injuries in a traffic accident last December but has made a remarkable recovery since.
“I always knew Gavin would be ready because he’s a warrior,” Mallory said.
Bermuda will come up against Americas Group Three rivals Bahamas, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay and hosts Bolivia during the round-robin tournament which will see participants divided into two pools.
The eventual top two countries in each pool will play the runners-up from the other pool with the two victorious teams gaining promotion to Americas Group Two for 2014.
The tournament will be held on clay surface at the Club de Tennis in La Paz, Bolivia through June 17-22.
“We are playing on that slow, red clay so we definitely have our work cut out,” Mallory said.
The former top player said Bermuda’s players may have also find playing at high altitude in Bolivia challenging.
“I actually played in Bolivia as a player and we played at sea level but this time we are playing at a higher altitude,” he said. “We are up in the mountains and will be playing with the heavier balls which are specialised for the altitude. This (altitude) does present a challenge so we are actually going to leave a few days earlier to acclimatise.”
Team Bermuda are due to depart for Bolivia on June 13 and will arrive at their destination the next day.
The draw for the tournament will be held once the teams arrive in Bolivia.