Tennis New Zealand has appointed leading coach Simon Rea in the new position of High Performance Director.
Rea is a former Davis Cup player for New Zealand, former professional as well as two-time national champion.
However as a tennis coach Rea is most known for taking a teenage Australian Nick Kyrgios to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2014 and keeping the talented player relatively focussed on the court including a number of dramatic matches and a win over Rafael Nadal.
34 year old Rea was part of the Tennis Australia coaching system where he was highly respected and worked with various players such as Kyrgios, Samantha Stosur and others. He returns home from Melbourne to Auckland to take up the role at Tennis NZ.
He was given a huge boost by Kyrgios when their partnership came to an end with the player saying that Rea had a positive influence on him "Simon has been nothing but a steady, calm and positive influence on me. My time with Simon was an incredibly special time for us both and I learned and achieved a lot thanks to Simon and I will be forever grateful for his input and drive to improve my game."
Rea is well-known by New Zealand's top players and coaches and has plenty of respect for his work ethic and ability to drive players and himself with goal setting and planning.
"I'm delighted and very humbled to be coming home and to be a member of the team attempting to make a difference to tennis in New Zealand. I really want to extend my sincere thanks to Steve Johns and to the board of Tennis New Zealand for such a wonderful opportunity," said Rea
"I cannot wait to roll the sleeves up and hit the ground running as I look to gain a thorough understanding of the current landscape of the sport and build robust, sustainable relationships with our tennis community to collectively achieve the type of success we all yearn for as a sporting fraternity in New Zealand.
" I'm genuinely excited to be back at the onset of what is sure to be another superb summer of tennis across the country and I look forward to being court side at the New Zealand Tennis Championships this week."
Tennis New Zealand CEO Steve Johns is looking forward to Rea in his role and his skills with players as well in the administrative side planning the high performance direction for the sport.
"We are delighted to welcome Simon to the Tennis NZ team in the new role of High Performance Director. There is no questioning Simon's experience and expertise. He has coached some of the world's best during his time with Tennis Australia including Nick Kyrgios and Sam Stosur," said Johns.
"Simon will be working with the existing high performance team with his primary role initially to drive the development of Tennis NZ's new 2017-2022 High Performance strategy that will look to build and take the next step towards improved results and achieving high performance objectives."
Tennis NZ will also have Rea working with performance coaches on and off the court and be available to offer advice to professional players and to players wanting to become professionals.
Rea reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 473 in the world in 2007 and won two ITF Futures titles. He also won the NZ Championship titles in 2001 and 2002. As a junior he reached a high ranking of 25 in the world and had a win over Andy Roddick.
He was the head boy at Auckland Grammar School and played NCAA tennis at the University of Tennessee.
He was the recipient of the 2013 award for Coaching Excellence, High Performance at the prestigious Newcombe Awards in Australia.