[singlepic id=209 w=320 h=240 float=left]Australia will play Belgium in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs on the hardcourts of the new Cairns Regional Tennis Centre.

The tie will be played from 17-19 September, and will give Australia the opportunity to progress to the World Group level for 2011.

Queensland Minister for Sport Phil Reeves said the tie would be the first international Davis Cup tie to be played at the Cairns Regional Tennis Centre, which has recently benefited from an almost $2 million State Government funded facilities upgrade.

“This is a great coup for the Cairns region and definitive proof that international tennis is on the rise in Queensland,” Mr Reeves said.

“The Bligh Government is thrilled to bring an international event to a regional centre, complementing our extensive regional sporting, arts and cultural events program throughout the State.

“The Queensland Government invests more in sport and recreation than any other state, and the proof of our commitment is in facilities like the Cairns Regional Tennis Centre.

“There are a lot of reasons to develop sporting facilities in regional centres, and being able to attract international sporting events is definitely one of those.

“We knew that through our strong working relationships with Tennis Australia and Tennis Queensland, that if we built it they would come.”

Mr Reeves said the record-breaking performance of the second Brisbane International tournament in January gave Tennis Australia the confidence to select Brisbane to host the first Davis Cup tie, held between Australia and Japan in May at the new Queensland Tennis Centre.

“The tie in May was the first time the Davis Cup had been held in Brisbane since 2000, and demonstrated the versatility of the Queensland Tennis Centre, which had its centre court converted to clay,” Mr Reeves said.

State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt MP said the Australia vs Belgium tie was a great addition to the Queensland Government supported events in Cairns during 2010, which also includes the Cairns Big Bash 20/20 cricket tournament (August), the Cairns Regional Tennis Pro Tournament (September), and Cairns Street Buskers Festival (September).

“Cairns is the perfect backdrop to what will be a hard fought Davis Cup tie between Australia and Belgium,” Mr Pitt said.

“The city of Cairns is sure to offer our local and international tennis heroes a warm welcome this September and I encourage all tennis fans to join them for what will be a great event.”

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