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Hewitt backs established Davis Cup quintet for finals

3 minute read

The five Australians who reached the final of last year's Davis Cup have been picked for this year's last eight showpiece by captain Lleyton Hewitt.

LLEYTON HEWITT. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Lleyton Hewitt has kept faith with the team that reached the final of last year's Davis Cup, naming the same quintet for this year's 'final 8' in Spain next month.

World No.13 Alex de Minaur will lead the group supported by Max Purcell (41), Jordan Thompson (58), Thanasi Kokkinakis (68) and world No.6 doubles specialist Matthew Ebden. Purcell, also ranked 41 in doubles, is likely to partner Ebden.

The five have already been in action this campaign, winning through to the Malaga showdown from the group stage despite a defeat to Great Britain in which both singles matches were lost.

With nine Australians in the world top 100 singles rankings Hewitt was spoilt for choice. Backing his established line-up meant leaving out higher ranked players Alexei Popyrin (world No.39), Aleksandar Vukic (56) and Chris O'Connell (61), plus Rinky Hijikata (singles 70; doubles 24) and Jason Kubler (97; 37).

Australian No.2 Popyrin, who is on a good run of form, will have been closest to breaking into the established group.

Australia will be strong favourites when they play the Czech Republic on 22 November.

Their unchanged four-man team includes the only two Czech players holding a top-100 ranking, Jiri Lehecka (31) and Tomas Machac (74). Jakub Mensik (158) and doubles specialist Adam Pavlasek (doubles: 56) make up the quartet.

The winners meet whoever comes through the previous day's tie between defending champions Canada and Finland with a re-match of last year's final likely.

In the other half of the draw Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are in line to resume a rivalry that goes back to their teenage days with the pair named to represent Great Britain and Serbia respectively.

The Netherlands and Italy complete the octet. The final is on 26 November.


Alex de Minaur, Max Purcell, Jordan Thompson, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Matthew Ebden.

Captain Lleyton Hewitt