King of controversies Nick Kyrgios returns to Australia’s Davis Cup team for the first time since February 2018, much to the delight of Captain Lleyton Hewitt. On Tuesday, the former World No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champion named Australia’s lineup for the Davis Cup 2019 finals – which also includes Nick Kyrgios.
Lleyton Hewitt explains that Kyrgios returned to the team after the 18-month absence as the pair’s past disagreements have been resolved. The 24-year-old didn’t feature in the historic team event since February, last year as he was involved in a spat with Hewitt for supporting Alex de Minaur. Kyrgios was then not included in the team after failing to meet the ‘cultural standards’.
However, the pair seems to resolve their dispute and come to a mutual agreement as Hewitt revealed that Nick Kyrgios sent a message to him saying: “I want to get back in team”, earlier this year and hence their differences also settled. Hewitt also suggested that Kyrgios’ previous antics should not be taken into consideration to exclude him from the Davis Cup.
I got a message from him saying ‘mate, I want to get back in the team’,” Hewitt told the reporters on Tuesday. “The great thing is, he has a great relationship with all the players as well. It’s kind of about him wanting to be a part of the team and do the right things day in day out. For me, I’d much rather have him on my team.”
Nick’s a different character and I understand that and we’re not always going to put everybody in the same box,” Hewitt explained further. “You’ve got to deal with different personalities in all kinds of sports, and I feel like I know Nick as well as anyone.”
Lleyton Hewitt praised Nick Kyrgios as he explicated that the 24-year-old has given his best for his team at the Davis Cup and has not put a foot wrong in the past. The 38-year-old believes that Nick Kyrgios can meet the expectations and step up when needed for the team. Kyrgios has represented Australia in nine Davis Cup ties since 2013 and has won 9 matches out of 15.
“I feel like on the Davis Cup court he’s done everything I’ve needed in the past whenever he’s been a part of the team. He hasn’t put a foot wrong, he’s out there picking up balls, half coaching and encouraging other players. There’s a lot of things he does in a team environment that I actually think we’ll see the best of him,” Australia’s Davis Cup captain added.
Kyrgios is currently sidelined from the ATP Tour due to his shoulder injury – which he picked up on during the Laver Cup 2019 in September. He has also missed a series of tournaments due to the injury. However, Lleyton Hewitt is confident that the world No.30 will be back to full fitness till the 2019 Davis Cup finals.
That has even been the sacrifice over the last couple of weeks, pulling out of the tournaments as well,” Hewitt said. “After the Laver Cup he did have a shoulder-collar bone slight injury, which he’s pretty much over now, but he had to take a few weeks out, and he felt like if he kept playing that as going to jeopardize his chances of playing Davis Cup.
Hewitt concluded, “He called me at the time about that and we thought that was the best situation. He comes in a little bit underdone, but fortunately, he’s a guy that can go out there and light it up when he needs to. With this format, there’s a lot of unknowns as well, but he’s the kind of guy this format will really suit.”