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Hewitt backs stars to rebound from injury, sickness

Tennis

Lleyton Hewitt insists he doesn’t have any headaches in his debut as Davis Cup captain despite a Nick Kyrgios no-show at Kooyong.

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A virus is preventing Kyrgios, the world No.26, joining up with the Australian team at the historic Melbourne venue ahead of this weekend’s first-round tie with the United States.

Hewitt revealed yesterday he’d ordered the 20-year-old to steer clear of practising with his teammates as a precaution.

“At the moment, he’s taking it easy and trying to get over it 100 per cent,” Hewitt said.

“I didn’t want him around the boys if he’s a bit infectious… the back and hip don’t seem to be a problem which is very good news.

“He’s played a lot of matches and both he and Bernie [Tomic] are confident coming in with their ball-striking.

“Come match day, I’m backing both those boys.”

Lead singles player Bernard Tomic hit the courts on Tuesday after a tricky transit from Mexican resort city Acapulco.

Tomic, 23, is not without his own injury query, playing the final of the tour event in Acapulco on Sunday, taking painkillers and playing with strapping over his troubled wrist.

He went straight to Kooyong within a few hours of touching down in Melbourne and said while he might be a touch short of full fitness for the tie, he would compete well.

“I finished the final and had to fly five or six hours after that… it was very tough to get here,” he said.

“I’ve had [the wrist injury] since I played [Andy] Murray in the Australian Open… I haven’t pulled out anywhere. I’ve pushed through it. It’s tough to say if I’ll be at 100 per cent but there’s not going to be a lot of rallies – it’s going to be a lot of quick points.

“I’m very happy the way I’m playing and I think I’ll be very ready for sure on Friday… I’ll give it with my heart and soul. I respect Davis Cup so much.”

While discussing the strength of his team’s serve, Hewitt might have let the cat out of the bag, calling Sam Groth a singles player.

Kyrgios is expected at the courts today, ahead of Thursday’s team announcement.

Both teams reported the drop-in grasscourt at Kooyong’s famous horseshoe centre stadium was playing slower than they anticipated.

USA captain Jim Courier said he was expecting to face a full-strength Australian team despite Kyrgios’ absence so far.

-AAP

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