Nick Kyrgios Praises Lleyton Hewitt Ahead Of Davis Cup Clash
Nick Kyrgios has vowed to ‘run through a brick wall’ for Lleyton Hewitt in Australia’s upcoming Davis Cup semifinal showdown this weekend.
The world No.20 will be hoping to guide his country to their first final in the competition since 2003 under Hewitt’s guidance. Australia has won the Davis Cup a total of 28 times, but only twice in the 21st century.
“Davis Cup for me is one of the most important events that I can play. I would love to win one,” Kyrgios told Australian media on Tuesday. “I’m just a massive fan of team sports and that’s probably the closest thing we’ve got in tennis.”
The 22-year-old enters the tie with questions looming over the state of his health. At the US Open he sustained a shoulder injury during his first round match, eventually losing to John Millman. Still, he has been selected for the tie along with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Jordan Thompson and John Peers.
In recent months Kyrgios has credited the Davis Cup for helping revitalise his career on the tour. At the start of the year he told the media that playing in a team environment helps ‘improve his general wellbeing.’ In April he was instrumental in Australia’s 3-2 win over the USA, claiming victories in both of his singles matches.
“I love getting out there with a team and getting behind everyone that I’m close with and trying to get the win for the country obviously.” He explained. “But just that whole week, building that chemistry with a team. I literally love playing for someone other than myself for once.”
It isn’t just national pride that Kyrgios is after. He also intends to make team captain Hewitt proud. The former world No.1 has been the head of the team since October 2015. Known by the nickname ‘rusty,’ he is Australia’s most successful Davis Cup player. Winning 58 out of 79 matches played in the competition. Kyrgios credits Hewitt for helping and supporting him throughout his career.
“’Rusty’ has helped me a lot. I think he’s the best captain we’ve ever had. I know that everyone on our team would run through a brick wall for him.” Said Kyrgios.
“He’s been an unbelievable support for me. I know there have been times this year where I wasn’t doing too well mentally and he’s obviously always been there.”
Australia will take on Belgium in the semifinals at the Palais 12 in Brussels. The tie will be held indoors on clay.