Kyrgios honoured by Davis Cup call-up
Rising star Nick Kyrgios says he's pumped and ready for a first taste of Davis Cup after his surprise selection for the World Group Play-off tie against Poland.
Rising Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios says he’s pumped and ready for a first taste of Davis Cup after his surprise selection for the World Group playoff against Poland.
The 18-year-old became the 103rd player selected for the 28-time champion Davis Cup nation after captain Pat Rafter handed him a late call-up for the crunch tie, starting in Warsaw on Friday.
Kyrgios replaces Marinko Matosevic in the four-man squad after impressing Rafter in training over the past fortnight.
While Kyrgios is no guarantee to play a match as Australia bids to return to the competition’s top tier for the first time since 2007, his selection represents a huge vote of confidence from Rafter.
At age 18 he is not the youngest player to be picked for Australia but he’s among the most inexperienced, having only recently shifted his full focus from juniors to the senior tour.
The former world No.1 junior made a remarkable senior Grand Slam debut when he upset Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in the first round of the French Open and his Davis Cup selection continues a rapid rise.
“Honoured to be selected for the Australian Davis Cup team, I’m told I’m the 103rd player to represent Australia. Pumped and prepared!” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
Rafter said earlier this week he had been highly impressed by Kyrgios but indicated it may be too soon to include him.
“I just don’t know how his legs are going to hold up over five sets on clay in the brutal Davis Cup environment,” Rafter told AAP.
“But talent wise, he’s up there. It’s fantastic.”
With Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic leading Australia into battle against a Poland side missing injured leading light Jerzy Janowicz, Rafter would ideally be hoping for an early victory – allowing for Kyrgios to make his debut in a dead rubber on Sunday.