Nick Kyrgios looks set to make his return to tennis on Tuesday as Australia open their Davis Cup Finals campaign against Colombia at the Caja Majica in Madrid.
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Note: Team captains have until one hour before the start of play to confirm the players competing.
Kyrgios has not played since an opening round loss to Andreas Seppi in Zhuhai in September, but he joins the Australian team in Madrid as the 28-time champions attempt to win the title for the first time since 2003.
The controversial Kyrgios has not represented Australia since February 2018, and was left out of February’s qualifier against Bosnia for “failing cultural standards”, according to captain Lleyton Hewitt, but Hewitt has recalled his controversial star for the Finals in Madrid, following a meeting between the pair earlier in the year.
“We worked through a lot of things at the start of the year and then met up in Indian Wells in March,” Hewitt said about his decision to call up Kyrgios.
“Nick told me he was desperate to do whatever he could to get back in the team… One thing I have been really proud of with Nick is that he goes out of his way to help the rest of the boys week in, week out”. “He has been really good with whatever I have asked him to do leading into this tie.”
Kyrgios joins a strong Australian side that also boasts Alex De Minaur, the world No. 18 and the country’s No. 1 player. De Minaur is coming off a terrific season, during which he won titles in Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai, and fell just short at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, losing to Jannik Sinner in the final. Former US Open quarter finalist, John Millman provides an additional singles option, while doubles specialist, John Peers gives the side good balance. There’s also Jordan Thompson, who can fit into both singles and doubles rubbers, as can Kyrgios, in fact.
Kyrgios has the most Davis Cup experience in the current side, and always tends to thrive in a team environment. His overall 9-6 record (9-5 in singles) is the best in Hewitt’s team, and if the captain can get the former world No. 13 to focus long enough on the job and produce his best, Australia will be very dangerous.
They will open their campaign on Wednesday against Colombia, who fell 1-2 to Belgium in their opening group match on Monday.
The Colombians, who had never previously gone beyond the World Group play-offs, boast the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world in Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, but they are seriously lacking in singles firepower, with world No. 191, Daniel Elahi Galan being their No. 1 player in the squad.
Farah and Cabal unsurprisingly won their doubles rubber on Monday, beating Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in a final set tie break, but the tie was over by then, as the Colombians had lost their two singles rubbers earlier in the day. Santiago Giraldo fell 6-3 6-2 to Steve Darcis, while Galan was beaten 3-6 6-4 6-4 by former world No. 7, David Goffin.
That’s the challenge they face on Tuesday- can they snatch one of the singles rubbers to give Farah and Cabal a chance when they step out for the doubles rubber?
Australia vs Colombia is live from Madrid on Tuesday, 19 November from 5:00pm GMT/ 6:00pm local time