Rasheed: Young Aussies must succeed away from home

by: Matt Cronin February 04, 2014

AP Photo

Even though Australia was shut out by France in the first round of Davis Cup, Roger Rasheed, who formerly coached Lleyton Hewitt, believes his home nation has a good group of young players on the rise.

"Until we see that whole thickness of players, and obviously with Bernie back in the mix and the two Special Ks, then it looks pretty good,'' Rasheed told FoxSports. "But I'm really keen about the next ones, what's underneath that. Are there six to 12 guys who are in the same space who can push each other along? It looks like [teenagers] Nick [Kyrgios] and Thanasi [Kokkinakis] are pushing each other, one's chasing the other and that's what you want. So I'm hoping there's that type of athlete more at this level.''

Rasheed is currently coaching Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarterfinals and is currently ranked a career-high No. 19. Rasheed said it’s important to look at how the Aussie players perform competing abroad, as they will no longer have the comforts of playing at home.

"It's tougher to actually get yourselves on the road, in somebody else's country,” he said. "That's where the toughness of the world tour starts. Physically, mentally, to go out and compete with an enormous amount of players who can hit the ball as well as you do. What's going to set you apart?''

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