Lleyton Hewitt has come out of retirement to replace bed-ridden Nick Kyrgios in the four-man Australian team to play against America in the Davis Cup tie at Kooyong in Melbourne this weekend.
The 35-year-old Hewitt retired after January’s Australian Open and took over the captaincy of the Davis Cup team, his first match in charge is this weekend’s tie against the US.
Kyrgios, who was diagnosed with a severe virus and was bed-ridden last week in Dubai, did appear in Kooyong and practised briefly on Wednesday but Hewitt said he was not fit to play and made the decision to not use the world No. 27 this weekend.
Hewitt told reporters that he had upped his training when he learnt that Kyrgios may have an issue with being available for selection due to illness, but has not confirmed if he will be playing yet.
“Obviously with Nick, when we knew he had some issues, I tried to prepare as well as possible just to be another option,” Hewitt said.
“I’ve been around enough Davis Cup ties now to know you’ve got to have back-ups and plans in place.
“I’m hitting the ball well and we’ve got as good a team as we can field going in and I’m confident we can still win.”
Sam Groth has been elevated to the singles in place of Kyrgios and could play doubles with John Peers.
Groth will play US No.1 John Isner on Friday and later in the day, Bernard Tomic takes on Jack Sock.
Hewitt could still include himself in the doubles rubber with either Groth or Peers – or the reverse singles on Sunday.