Australia is set to take on US in the first round of a Davis Cup tie today at the spiritual home of Australian tennis, Kooyong.
This is the first cup meeting between the two nations since 1999, when a young Lleyton Hewitt helped Australia upset the Americans on home soil 4-1 in his Davis Cup debut.
Now the Davis Cup captain, Hewitt could make a shock comeback after naming himself on the team sheet after Nick Kyrgios was ruled out of the tie with a back problem. The loss of Kyrgios is a major blow for the Aussies. The young Aussie star claimed his maiden ATP title in Marseille two weeks ago, beating Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet on the way to the title.
Today’s first match will see world number 20, Bernard Tomic, take on world number 24, Jack Sock. Tomic comes into the match in good form, having reached the final of a Mexican tournament played on clay last week. Tomic has an excellent grass-court game and will look to use it to his advantage, having lost to Sock in their three previous meetings.
The second match of the day will be a battle of the big servers, with the world’s fastest server, Sam Groth, taking on fellow giant and world number 11 John Isner. Groth delivered on the big stage last year, helping Australia overturn a 2-0 deficit against Uzbekistan in the cup quarter finals and will look to tap the home crowd’s enthusiasm to help defeat the American.
Tomorrow’s doubles match will see Aussie doubles specialist John Peers make his Davis Cup debut, partnering with Groth or Hewitt. The pairing faces a formidable task: taking on the 16-time grand slam champions, the Bryan brothers, in what could be the pivotal match of the tie. – Luke Cullen
Order of play from the official Twitter feed of the Davis Cup competition.