Friday, September 14, 2012

Hewitt pledges to complete revival

Updated September 13, 2012 22:29:27

Lleyton Hewitt says the Australian Davis Cup team is ready to complete its mission to return to the elite World Group by defeating Germany in Hamburg.

The tie at the Rothenbaum Stadium is expected to turn into a dogfight with cold conditions expected to slow down the clay court for the tie starting at 7.30pm on Friday night (AEST).

World number 42 Bernard Tomic will open Australia's campaign against fellow youngster Cedrik-Marcel Stebe before Hewitt takes on fellow veteran and world number 25 Florian Mayer.

"The whole team and me in particular have waited a year for this opportunity and we won't be letting it slip," Hewitt said.

Australia has been out of the top-flight since 2007 and Hewitt is desperate to play in the 16-nation World Group one last time before he calls it a day.

Following more than a week in the national camp, Tomic is confident of rebounding from his US Open flop against world number 127 Stebe.

"It will be difficult. He will have a lot of energy of playing with the crowd on his side," Tomic said.

"I feel I am hitting the ball really well.

"I don't mind playing a left hander and slow conditions which suit me so I feel I can play really good on this court and I'm comfortable with how I am moving.

"I am confident I can play well tomorrow and win."

Hewitt who showed some encouraging form at the US Open, has a terrific record at the Hamburg venue of 18-6, having lost 7-5 in the deciding set to claycourt supremo Rafael Nadal in his most recent visit half a decade ago.

However he expected Mayer to be hard work on home soil.

"He plays with a lot of variety out there, a lot of different types of spins and heights and shots," he said.

"In terms of Stebe, I think he handled the pressure of playing a night match at the Australian Open really well earlier this year."

As expected, Australia named a doubles pairing of Hewitt and Chris Guccione to take on Philipp Petzschner and Benjamin Becker.

The Germans have never been paired together in Davis Cup while Hewitt and Guccione enjoy a 3-0 record in Cup competition, including a win last year against the Athens Olympic gold medal winning pair of Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer.


Tags: sport, tennis, germany, australia

First posted September 13, 2012 21:31:57

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