Lleyton Hewitt performed his record-extending 80th Davis Cup fit for Australia. (document) (ABC Information: Tim Swanston)
Lleyton Hewitt has rolled again the years along John Friends to overcome Austria’s Jurgen Melzer and Oliver Marach 6-2, 6-Four, Three-6, 7-Five and stay alive Australia’s hopes within the Davis Cup playoff in Graz.
Group captain Hewitt — enjoying in his 80th fit within the inexperienced and gold, 19 years after making his debut — nominated himself forward of the suffering Jordan Thompson, who’d firstly been slated to spouse Friends.
Hewitt, 37, got here out of retirement to play doubles with John Millman at this yr’s Australian Open, attaining the quarter-finals.
Australia’s top-ranked participant John Millman, who has been suffering with sickness following his US Open quarter-final, sat in as transient courtside skipper on the Messe Grand complicated on out of doors clay.
John Millman tweet: It used to be a a laugh day in Graz. The lads installed a perfect shift. Loved being referred to as as much as the bench.
Nick Kyrgios opted to leisure for the Davis Cup tie after reportedly desiring cortisone injections in his knee throughout america Open.
After Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur misplaced their singles rubbers to Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak respectively, Saturday’s doubles conflict used to be a must-win for the guests.
Hewitt and Friends broke the Austrians two times within the first 4 video games to steamroll their method in the course of the opening set and an early spoil of Melzer’s serve helped them take out the second one.
However roared on via a loud 6,000-strong house crowd, Austria hit again to take the 3rd set following a marathon level at Three-1 at the Marach serve that produced 11 deuces and noticed the hosts save 8 spoil issues.
The fourth set used to be a detailed affair with each groups maintaining serve till the Friends crunched a forehand winner to damage Marach and seal the win.
“That is Davis Cup doubles,” Hewitt stated.
“That is what it is intended to be — it is intended to be at the center day, it is intended to be best-of-five units and we are enjoying in a tricky position, clear of house, on a tricky clay court docket.
“John performed implausible as of late. We gelled in reality neatly, we got here out initially and lit it up after which needed to dig deep within the fourth set.”
De Minaur now faces the daunting prospect of taking over Thiem, the inheritor obvious to Rafael Nadal’s king of clay crown within the opening opposite singles rubber on Sunday.
Global quantity 8 Thiem dropped simply 4 video games in a 95-minute dismantling of Thompson and beat de Minaur conveniently of their simplest earlier assembly finally yr’s US Open.
“It is gonna be an excessively tricky ask once more the next day to come,” Hewitt stated.
“However all my boys will get ready in addition to imaginable and we will do completely the whole thing we will be able to and we will depart all of it out right here.
“If it is excellent sufficient, it’s, and if it isn’t, it isn’t. However we will give 100 according to cent.”
The winner of the tie might be seeded for the qualifying spherical of the made over Davis Cup in February.