Friday , April 23 2021

Nick Kyrgios set to miss out on Lleyton Hewitt Davis Cup team



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Kyrgios, an avid basketball fan, was scheduled to make a promotional appearance at a training session with NBL team Melbourne United on Tuesday but withdrew.

There was also no place in the team for world No.48 Ebden. Australia's third-ranked singles player leading into the open behind the Minaur (ranked 29th) and Millman (37th), the 31-year-old has revealed concerns around communication in the Davis Cup set-up after being knocked out in the second round at Melbourne Park at Rafael Nadal.

Ebden's comments last week followed by Bernard Tomic's savage criticism of Hewitt, claiming the former world No.1 favored particular players, was by no one and had "ruined the system".

Hewitt returned serve by alleging Tom had made physical threats against his family and tried to blackmail him over the past two years, declaring the one-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist would not play Davis Cup again under his watch. Hewitt had traumatized his son as a 17-year-old Davis Cup debut in 2010 by coming to his hotel room and demanding he told him that Tennis Australia was "against" him.

While having been declared Tomic would not play Davis Cup again during his watch, he spoke of his frustrations with Kyrgios last week but could "absolutely" see him returning to the picture for Australia.

Following discontent about playing doubles in the tie against Austria in Graz last September – Tomic also slammed him for that – Hewitt has also said he has played doubles against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Determined: Lleyton Hewitt is ambivalent about the new Davis Cup format but has vowed to take it seriously.

Determined: Lleyton Hewitt is ambivalent about the new Davis Cup format but has vowed to take it seriously.Credit:AAP

The tie is a qualifier for the controversial new 18-nation Davis Cup finals in Madrid in November.
During the $ 4 billion transformation of the competition by Spanish investment group Kosmos, Davis Cup will be played in a two-day format with best-of-three-sets matches.

Hewitt has not been alone among players unhappy about the overhaul.

"I don't know how this Davis Cup format is going to go, I really don't," he said.

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“My goal is just to get through Adelaide and get ourselves the best opportunity of going to the final. We'll work out what the best plan of attack is for the final, but we have eight or nine months to do that if we can get there.

“I would like to think that it's going to be a feature piece where a lot of the top players are going to play, but I've heard rumors that they may not either. For me, I will be fielding as a strong and Australian team as we possibly can. Representing the state of Australia. It's wearing the green and gold. I have guys that would do anything to do that. We're going to use that as our cultural standards … playing for Australia. We're going to do everything to win. ”

Alex Bolt, who like Popyrin reached the third round at the Australian Open as a wildcard, will also travel to Adelaide for the tie while Rinky Hijikata, the 17-year-old fifth seed in the Open boys' draw, is expected to be a hitting partner. Heikata solves in the second round on Tuesday a bizarre circumstances: on match point, he forgot and experimental rule being used in juniors here that allows play to go on with that serves in the service court.

Tennis Australia is expected to mount a review of its Davis Cup set-up after the tie Memorial Drive tie on February 1 and 2.

Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

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