No Nick Kyrgios, but no problem for Hewitt


Lleyton Hewitt says he would have loved for Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios to put his considerable talent behind Australia’s Davis Cup push.

Still, Captain Hewitt is perfectly happy with the team of warriors who “raised their hands for their country” and reached the semi-finals of this year’s competition without the aid of their potentially most devastating singles weapon.

Kyrgios, who has retired from the Davis Cup for three years now, himself remarked last week at the ATP Finals in Turin that he felt the current team, led by the inspired Alex de Minaur, was equipped to win the trophy in Malaga. this week, even without him.

And so it was on Tuesday when de Minaur and Jordan Thompson both picked up the singles victories that led Hewitt’s men to a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands to advance to Friday’s semi-final.

“Well obviously we would have liked Nick to play. You know he had an amazing year and didn’t play that many tournaments, (and) we all know he can play top level tennis when he is motivated,” Hewitt said when asked about Kyrgios’ absence.

“So that we don’t have it here, we put that aside and we try to get together, and we have a good group of guys here who are ready to do the hard work and raise their hands for their country – and I couldn’t be more proud of them all.”

After a difficult week-long training camp in Paris, Hewitt chose Jordan Thompson to support de Minaur in singles action, and was rewarded with a terrific and courageous performance by the Sydneysider, who gave up his way to victory over Tallon Griekspoor. .

But the captain was adamant he would have been equally happy to go with Thanasi Kokkinakis or Jason Kubler, who were enthusiastic cheerleaders off the bench at Malaga.

“I would have had as much confidence in Kubes to play tonight as I did in Thommo… Thanasi, I could have easily played him too,” Hewitt shrugged.

“Tough decisions, but some are right, some aren’t, and tonight it hit us.”

Hewitt admitted to having kittens on the result, such was the pinched and withdrawn nature of the two players at three.

“But I’m just really proud of the boys. They left it all there…they wear their hearts on their sleeve and love to wear green and gold.”

On Wednesday, Australia will learn who they will be playing in the last four as Spain, without Carlos Alcaraz or Rafael Nadal in their ranks, take on last year’s finalists Croatia, who could be the most strong in the final, with Marin Cilic, Borna Coric and doubles stars Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

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