Malaga, Spain, 21 November 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Alexei Popyrin will line-up for Australia in the 2023 Davis Cup Finals in Spain this week.

The 24-year-old has been elevated into the five-member team in place of an injured Thanasi Kokkinakis.

“(Kokkinakis) played a tournament in Sydney a few weeks ago and twisted his ankle. He was working through that, and then he had another little setback in training about a week ago,” Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt explained.

Popyrin joins world No.12 Alex de Minaur, Max Purcell, Jordan Thompson and world No.4 doubles star Matt Ebden in the Australian team.

“To be honest, we had a lot of options, so I feel very comfortable with Alexei coming in,” Hewitt said.

“He’s had his career-best year on the ATP Tour this year, and we’ve got a lot of options in our singles but also in our doubles as well.

“Whoever we end up putting out there on the court I know is going to perform well and leave it all out there for us, and we’ve got full belief in all the boys.”

Popyrin has scored three top-10 wins in a career-best season, helping his ranking rise from outside the top 100 in March to peak at world No.39 last month.

Set to make his first Davis Cup appearance since November 2021, Popyrin is excited to be competing in the Spanish city of Malaga.

“No Spanish blood, but I did live here,” Popyrin said. “I lived in Alicante for five years where Demon lives, and lived actually in Marbella for another five years. I’m kind of a local here now.

“I’ve got a lot of friends here. Most of my best friends are from this area, from Andalucia. It’s basically a home tournament for me.”

The Australian team faces the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday (from 2am AEST Thursday 23 November).

The Davis Cup Finals are broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network.

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