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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
Stich gets Davis Cup job
Stich plans to meet Germany's top players in Paris in Sunday
Stich beat Boris Becker to win Wimbledon in 1991
Germany have appointed former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich as their Davis Cup captain for 2002.

The 33-year-old replaces Carl-Uwe Steeb, who stepped down last month because of the repercussions following Germany's 4-1 quarter-final defeat by Holland in April.

The German Tennis Federation (DTB) initially asked Stich's great rival Boris Becker to captain the side.

When he turned them down they turned to Stich, who beat Becker in the 1991 Wimbledon final.

I am convinced that the team will soon have success
Michael Stich

Stich's most important task will be to convince Germany's top-ranked player, Tommy Haas, to turn out.

Haas, who won the recent Stuttgart Masters and lies seventh in the Champions' Race, said last month that he wanted to stop playing in the Davis Cup for a year to concentrate on his career.

The new captain plans to meet Haas and fellow German star Nicolas Keifer in Paris on Sunday.

"Having a good contact with the players is vital and that's why I want to meet them as quickly as possible," he said.

"I'm looking forward to my duty. I am convinced that the team will soon have success and that we can build for the future."

Finest hour

Stich played 17 times for Germany between 1990 and 1996, winning 35 of his 46 singles matches.

His finest hour came in the 1993 final, when he won both his singles matches and the doubles, with Marc Goellner, as Germany beat Australia 4-1.

Niki Pilic, who was then the German captain, is now in charge of Croatia, Germany's opponents in Stich's first match in charge.

"I'm looking forward to meeting Niki and I'm certain that it will be a good and fair tie," Stich said.

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