Thompson and De Minaur to open for Australia v Austria
Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur will play singles for Australia on the opening day of the Davis Cup tie in Austria.
Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur will carry Australian hopes on day one of the Davis Cup tie against Austria in Graz on Friday.
Thompson, ranked 111th, opens the action against world No.8 and French Open finalist Dominic Thiem on the outdoor clay courts.
De Minaur, the world No.38, then takes on world No.133 Dennis Novak in Friday’s second singles contest.
John Millman is the highest-ranked player in the Australian team at No.37 following his stunning win over Roger Federer at the US Open, but the Queenslander’s run to the quarterfinals in New York has taken its toll.
“John is obviously coming off a really long US Open campaign and is a little under the weather,” said Australia captain Lleyon Hewitt.
“He had a bit of sickness when he got here, which made things tough just to get that time on the clay court.
“For us it’s a long weekend, he’s still part of the team and we still plan to use him at some stage as the weekend goes on. He’s just a little underdone going into Friday.
“That’s a mutual decision we’ve come to that hopefully suits our team over the weekend.
“Jordan’s been hitting the ball really well. He’s had some of his best success in Davis Cup – he beat Jack Sock last year – and we feel like we still have a great opportunity this weekend, but we know it’s going to be a really tough tie.”
Hewitt has nominated Thompson and John Peers for Saturday’s doubles rubber against Oliver Marach and Jurgen Melzer, ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles.
Captains can change nominations up until an hour before the start of play.
The tie no longer carries the threat of relegation from the World Group as the format will change next year, with an 18-team week-long Davis Cup Finals event set to take place in November 2019.
Win or lose in Graz, Australia will need to qualify for the 2019 Finals through a home-or-away tie next February.
For now, they are looking to gain ranking points and sign off the traditional format, and the end of best-of-five-sets matches, with a victory.