From the blog

Tomic axed from Davis Cup team

  • mark.skendaris
  • 29 April 2010
  • 05:04

Rising star Bernard Tomic has been dropped from Australia’s Davis Cup team that will face Japan on clay in Brisbane in May. Top ranked Australian Lleyton Hewitt returns to lead the team.



Mark Skendaris


Tomic, 17, is seen as Australia’s next big hope and will be a key member in the future to help the tennis-proud country reclaim a place in the elite world group. But the youngster has been struggling through a succession of European second-tier claycourt events, and was dumped despite winning both his Cup singles matches against Chinese Taipei at Melbourne Park in March.


Peter Luczak, Carsten Ball and Paul Hanley will join former world No.1 Hewitt in the Australian team to play Japan in their Asia Oceania second round tie in Brisbane next month.


“We think we have a good strong team capable of winning our way back into the world group,” Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald said.


Hewitt, 29, commenced his comeback from hip surgery on clay in Houston, reaching the quarterfinals. In Barcelona he lost in the second round of singles but continued his run in doubles, making the final. He posted a gutsy win on Tuesday at the Rome Masters against Russian Mikhail Youzhny to confirm he is ready for a strong clay-court season. The two-time Grand Slam winner is certain to be selected as the No. 1 singles player for the tie.


Luczak will be the second singles player. Currently ranked No.72, he has achieved his best results on clay. In 2009, he won three ATP Challenger events on the slow surface. The 30-year-old qualified for Rome this week before suffering a first round loss on Monday.


Carsten Ball will partner Paul Hanley in the doubles after a strong showing against Chinese Taipei.


Japan’s best player Kei Nishikori will not be available the tie on red clay at Pat Rafter Arena in Queensland. The baseliner has not recovered in time from a leg injury. Japan’s squad includes Go Soeda, Yuichi Sugita, Tatsuma Ito and veteran Takao Suzuki.


The winner advances to the World Group Playoffs in September.



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