Special Ks to lead Aussies into battle
Australia's young guns will lead the way against the Kazakhs in Davis Cup, with Thanasi Kokkinakis opening play against Mikhail Kukushkin before Nick Kyrgios takes to the court.
Teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis has beaten out veteran Sam Groth for a singles berth in Australia’s Davis Cup quarterfinal against Kazakhstan in Darwin, starting on Friday.
Rising star Kokkinakis will take on Kazakhstan’s top player, world No.63 Mikhail Kukushkin, in the opening day singles, while Australian No.1 Nick Kyrgios faces off against world No.115 Aleksandr Nedovyesov in the second singles rubber.
Groth will team with Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles on Saturday, with the pair taking on against Andrey Gulubev and Nedovyesov.
Earlier this year, Kokkinakis came from two sets down to beat world No.46 Lukas Rosol in Australia’s 3-2 Davis Cup victory over the Czech Republic.
Kokkinakis said that experience has given him confidence of thriving under the pressure this time around.
“Having that experience in Czech was really good for me – showing I can do it even when things aren’t going my way,” Kokkinakis said after Thursday’s draw was announced.
Davis Cup captain Wally Masur said it was a hard decision to leave out Groth for the opening day singles action.
“I was spoilt for choice,” Masur said. “It’s a good position to be in.
“I really feel like if we’re going to win this, it’s going to be a tough effort over three days, so there’s an element of sharing the workload.”