Australia's new Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt defended his decision to select Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios for the team's first round against the United States, saying that the Aussie teens are heading on the right path despite their recent mischiefs.
Hewitt, who retired from his singles career last month at the Australian Open, backed Tomic and Kyrgios ahead of Australia’s Davis Cup first round tie against the US at Kooyong on Mar. 4.
Hewitt defended Tomic against criticisms that the 23-year-old was not putting in his full effort on the hard court, while insisting that Kyrgios’ emotions during game time could be used in a “positive way”. But the 35-year-old Hewitt admitted the two youngsters still have a lot to go through, although they are threading the right path to tennis success.
“You still want them to be themselves… and for them to mature as well, not only as tennis players, but as people,” Hewitt said, reports The Age. “So there's things they've just got to work through, but I think both guys are on the right path, and I'm just one resource there that they can sort of tap into to give them the best possible opportunity to fulfil that potential."
Tomic will have a chance for his first title this season at the Acapulco Open in Mexico, where he faces Austrian Dominic Thiem. Kyrgios, on the other hand, had a chance for a second straight ATP World title this year at the Dubai Tennis Championships, but retired hurt in the second set of his SF match against Stan Wawrinka due to back problems. Tomic will start against Jock Sock, while Kyrgios meets John Isner on grass at Kooyong.
Meanwhile, Hewitt opens up his captaincy debut against Jim Courier, who was part of the US team that Australia defeated in the 1999 Davis Cup in Boston. Hewitt said he was looking forward to meeting Courier again, albeit as a coach for his side.
“Obviously our relationship has grown so much by doing so much commentary together during the Open, so it's a tie that I'm really looking forward to. I think it's fantastic that we're going back to Kooyong,” Hewitt said, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.