De Minaur in Australia’s Davis Cup team; Tomic, Kyrgios out
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Alex de Minaur is in. Nick Kyrgios is out. Bernard Tomic was not even a consideration.
There were no surprises in the team Lleyton Hewitt picked for Australia’s Davis Cup match against Bosnia and Herzegovina next month.
The squad was published in a news release Tuesday after the last of the local players in the men’s and women’s singles draws were ousted from the Australian Open.
Bitter feuding within Australian men’s tennis was exposed during the season’s first major, when Bernard Tomic — at one time Australia’s top player — and Davis Cup captain Hewitt traded personal criticisms.
Tomic said former No. 1-ranked Hewitt, a two-time major champion, was favoring certain players and called for him to quit because he was unpopular. Kyrgios also posted a swipe about Hewitt watching de Minaur’s match while two other Australians were also in action, but later removed it.
Hewitt last week said players would be picked on rankings and their ability to fit in with a team “culture.” Hewitt said at the time that Tomic would not be selected on his watch as captain.
Teenager Alexei Popyrin, who reached the third round as a wild-card entry at the Australian Open, and John Millman, who beat Roger Federer at the last U.S. Open, were also picked for the Feb. 1-2 match in Adelaide along with Jordan Thompson and doubles specialist John Peers.
“De Minaur has had an incredible start to the year winning his maiden ATP title in Sydney and making the third round of the Aussie Open,” Hewitt said in a news release.
De Minaur, who improved his ranking from No. 208 to No. 31 in 2018, lost to No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the third round at Melbourne Park.
“Popyrin showed us he can match it with the top players and it was pleasing to see him do so well in only his second appearance at a Grand Slam,” Hewitt said. “John Millman and Jordan Thompson will bring experience to the team.”
Kyrgios and Tomic, both former Wimbledon quarterfinalists, lost in the first round of the Australian Open. Kyrgios lost to 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic and Tomic lost to sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion and a runner-up at the 2018 Australian Open.
Under the revamped Davis Cup format, Australia will feature in one of 12 qualifying matches in a bid to join Croatia, France, Spain, Britain, the United States and Argentina in the 18-team finals in Madrid from Nov. 18.