Woodforde's thoughts about the Davis Cup:
Davis Cup champion Mark Woodforde believes Peter Luczak could fill Lleyton Hewitt's big boots and guide Australia past Japan in next month's qualifying tie in Brisbane.
Hewitt's place as Australia's No.1 singles player for the May 7-9 tie is under a cloud after he pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters this week following his return from hip surgery in Houston.
But former doubles specialist Woodforde doesn't think Australia's hopes would sink with the loss of Hewitt.
He said the left-field decision to convert Pat Rafter Arena into a clay court would ensure world No.76 Luczak was a spearhead.
"The guys would love to have Lleyton there to set them along ... but clay is not his best surface and Peter Luczak does his best work throughout the year on the clay courts," Woodforde said in Brisbane.
"And historically the Japanese are more at home on faster indoor courts and we've gone on a surface that has some favouritism to us.
"Lucz is probably quite an under-rated player full stop.
"Obviously in the past years we've had Rafter, Philippoussis, Hewitt and the Woodies and you associate No.1 in the world with those names.
"Where Lucz is about 70 in the rankings and he's no slouch, Lucz is a quality player and a serious player on the clay courts."
Luczak combined with Carsten Ball, Bernard Tomic and doubles specialist Paul Hanley to sweep aside Chinese-Taipei in the first round of their Asia-Oceania group qualifiers in March.
Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald has until April 25 to decide on his line-up for the second round, and will also run his eye over Chris Guccione, who comes back from an ankle injury in the United States next week.
Woodforde has followed in the footsteps of his former doubles partner Todd Woodbridge, the senior Davis Cup coach, by becoming Australia's Junior Davis Cup coach this year.
He will take Luke Saville, Jake Schipanski and Jay Andrijic to the qualifying tournament in Malaysia next week with a view for them to defend the nation's title in the finals in Mexico in September.
It's looking increasingly likely that Rusty won't be playing next month so what does everyone think about what are team should be and our chances. Obviously Looch is a gimme so who partners him in the singles, expecting Hewitt's withdrawal.
Tomic - Hasn't impressed on his clay matches this year falling to Lorenzi, Aldi and Becker winning only one set along the way. Still has the Rome challenger next week to impress and can lift when playing in a high atmosphere match.
Ball - Like Tomic, not the favourite surface and hasn't being active for a couple of weeks, don't know if he's injured or not. Has had his typical inconsistent season, don't know if he should get a singles spot but he will definatly play the doubles
Gooch - Unless he wins a lot of matches over the next few weeks he won't play. Lost to possible opponent Soeda 2-6 2-6 this week.
Lindahl - Has been in great form this year and qualified for numerous ATP events, and is in the QF this week in Louisiana. Qualified for Houston which is played on clay before going down to Malisse who ended up beating Isner. Could be a bolter, although hasn't proved himself in a best of 5 format except for defeating Tomic in the wildcard playoff in December.
Jones - Played really well on the challenger circuit the last 12 months and has done well to get his ranking inside the top 200. Still it's the same as Lindahl in not having experienced the 5 set format. Might have to bide his time a little longer.
If I had to choose now I'd say it would be between Tomic and Lindahl. I know Tomic has not played well on clay but I have no doubt he'll lift playing Davis Cup in his own country and I think the selectors will select him if Rusty pulls out. Lindahl should be the next in line though ahead of Ball, Gooch and Jones. Apparently Matosevic has sprained his ankle pretty badly so thats why I didn't include him in discussions.