Malaga, Spain, 25 November 2023 | Leigh Rogers

The Australian Davis Cup team is aiming to end a 20-year title drought in the prestigious teams competition.

Standing in their way is an Italian team looking to win a Davis Cup title for the first time in 47 years.

With so much history on the line in Spain, Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt is confident his team is ready for the challenge.

“I don’t think we need added motivation, to be honest. We have been on a journey now for a few years as a tight-knit group, and they know where they are now and they want to be in this position,” Hewitt declared ahead of today’s final.

“Sure, you try and motivate them in different ways, but all the boys will be up for it.”

Italy has advanced to the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1998, which provides the Australian team with a crucial edge in experience.

The Aussies also reached this stage last year, so are familiar with the nerves and pressure of competing in the final of the sport’s longest-running teams event.

“We’ll go out there and leave absolutely everything we’ve got on the court,” Hewitt said.

Australian team
Player Singles ranking Doubles ranking
Alex de Minaur No.12 No.176
Alexei Popyrin No.40 No.258
Max Purcell No.45 No.35
Jordan Thompson No.56 No.105
Matt Ebden No.4
Captain: Lleyton Hewitt

World No.4 Jannik Sinner has played a starring role for Italy this week, going unbeaten across two singles and two doubles matches.

This includes a stunning semifinal defeat of Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, where he bravely saved three match points to overcome the world No.1.

Sinner is mentored by Australian Darren Cahill, who is also Hewitt’s former coach.

Hewitt believes the 22-year-old Italian is an “absolute quality player” and “as good as anyone going around at the moment”.

“It’s going to be a tough task,” Hewitt acknowledged.

Despite Sinner winning all five of his previous matches against Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur, Hewitt reiterated he does faith in his charge.

“No Davis Cup match is easy,” the Australian captain said. “You don’t take anything for granted and rankings get thrown out the window.”

Italian team
Player Singles ranking Doubles ranking
Jannik Sinner No.4 No.500
Lorenzo Musetti No.27 No.280
Matteo Arnaldi No.44 No.570
Lorenzo Sonego No.47 No.243
Simone Bolelli No.55
Captain: Filippo Volandi

De Minaur is feeling confident about Australia’s chances, noting the unbeaten doubles pairing of Matt Ebden and Max Purcell could ultimately prove the difference.

“If we can get ourselves to the doubles, we have an unbelievable pairing,” the 24-year-old said.

“The singles guys, we just have to do our best to get a win on the board and hopefully let the doubles guys do the job.”

Australia has won eight of its previous 12 Davis Cup ties against Italy, although this is the first meeting between the two nations since 1993.

The final is played at the Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena in Malaga from 4pm local time (from 2am AEDT Monday 27 November) and will be broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network.

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