Aussie stars set to align for Davis Cup clash
TENNIS: New Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt says he expects star players Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic to practise today in preparation for the start of the Davis Cup tie against the USA in Melbourne on Friday.
Both players have had a busy schedule in recent weeks, with Tomic battling wrist soreness when beaten in the final of an ATP Tour event in Mexico on Sunday, and Kyrgios pulling out of his semi-final against Stan Wawrinka in Dubai last week with a back complaint.
Hewitt said Kyrgios had assured him he would be right to play against the Americans who have already had a session on the temporary grass court at Kooyong where the tie will be played.
"Both Nick and Bernie are playing extremely well at the moment … the biggest thing for them is to get their bodies as close to 100% physically because they've had the matches," Hewitt said.
"It's more about just managing those two now because they've had such a busy workload with the Australian summer and they've both gone away straight after that, had good results and got matches under their belts."
The new captain, who made his Davis Cup debut as a player against the USA in 1999, said he was confident choosing grass as the surface for the clash was the right decision.
"I'm comfortable with both of those guys that their games naturally suit grass - so it's not going to take them very long," he said.
Kyrgios and Tomic will take on John Isner (ranked 11) and Jack Sock (24) in the singles, while John Peers will make his Davis Cup debut in the doubles with Sam Groth, the pair facing a tough challenge against doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan.
Peers, playing on tour with Finland's Henri Kontenen after splitting with Brit Jamie Murray at the end of last year, said he was confident he and Groth would give a good account of themselves against the 37-year-old American twins.
"We've known each other for years and years, so it's always good to get on the same side of the net as Sam," Peers said.
"Knowing each other for so long it's actually really easy and comfortable to slip straight into it and play some good tennis together."
The tie will be the 46th meeting between the countries, with the USA holding a 25-20 advantage.