Tennis Australia Davis Cup Official Dinner
Thank you, Mr Willis, for your kind introduction. I too acknowledge the Honourable Jane Prentice MP; the Presidents of the Davis Cup Foundation, Tennis Australia and the US Tennis Association; all other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
As Governor of Queensland, I speak for the people of the State in warmly welcoming this important Davis Cup fixture to Brisbane.
Australia won two of them, but lost the 1958 final. I can’t quite recall who our opponent was that year.
I speak in jest. It was the United States.
Those Davis Cup finals were played on grass at the Milton Tennis Centre, not far from here. The Centre’s importance to tennis later waned, but it has now reclaimed its heritage as a community tennis centre named after Roy Emerson.
The upcoming Davis Cup matches will be played at the marvellous Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson, which has already hosted two Davis Cup ties.
The main arena there is named after another ‘great’ from Queensland, Pat Rafter.
Indeed, Queensland-born and raised players have made an enormous contribution to Australia’s embarrassment of tennis riches over the years.
Then we have Daphne Fancutt, Wendy Turnbull, Nicole Pratt, Sam Stosur, Ash Barty – that distinguished list is also long.
Sometimes it’s hard to be humble.
The long-standing Australia-U.S. Davis Cup rivalry is legendary. Between them, the two countries have won the Davis Cup a staggering 60 times. This will be the 47th head-to head contest.
Queenslanders can look forward to some excellent, hard-fought tennis, played with great sportsmanship, in the next few days.
I wish both teams the best of luck in the quarter-final though, secretly, I may be wishing one team more luck than the other.
I thank the International Tennis Federation for its decision to hold this important sporting event in Brisbane.
The Federation could not have then known, but Queensland’s hosting of the Davis Cup now is a bright patch amidst a testing few weeks for our State, as Tropical Cyclone Debbie wrought havoc, including severe flooding, along an area of coastline longer than that of California’s.
I thank and congratulate Tennis Australia – including outgoing President Steve Healy, and I join in expressing best wishes to him and his family in their future endeavours – and I also thank Tennis Queensland, for all their hard work in making this event happen.
Above all, to dust off a useful cliché, we look forward to a Davis Cup Quarter-Final in which the clear winner is tennis. Thank you.