Article from www.tennis.com.au
Davis Cup selection battle heats up
Brisbane,21 April 2010
Australia’s male tennis elite are locked into an international selection battle for next month’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie against Japan in Brisbane.
Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic, Carsten Ball and Nick Lindahl all enjoyed victories overnight, while Peter Luczak lost to a quality opponent and Chris Guccione, Dayne Kelly and Greg Jones will play tonight.
Australian Davis Cup coach Todd Woodbridge indicated that he and captain John Fitzgerald would be giving their players as much time as they can to prove their form and fitness.
“We will leave it to as late as we can to ensure we select the best team possible for the conditions and the opponent,” Woodbridge explained.
“But I have to say there are some encouraging signs from several guys and the good news for Australian tennis is that we have some very healthy competition for places.”
The team is expected to be announced early next week.
Hewitt is leading the charge in his comeback from hip surgery with the Australian number one enjoying a three set first round win on clay at the Barcelona Open, accounting for Marsel Ilhan from Turkey 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Davis Cup teammate Peter Luczak was a victim of the international air travel shutdown. He endured a 30-hour car trip to get to Barcelona before losing his first round match to talented Latvian Ernests Gulbis 7-6(4) 6-3.
Still on clay and in Europe, Gold Coast teenager Bernard Tomic made the most of his wildcard into an ITF Futures event in Italy, winning his first round against German Holger Fischer 1-6 6-2 6-4.
Carsten Ball played his first match back from illness in a Challenger event on hard court in Florida, defeating highly-fancied American Donald Young 4-6 6-1 6-4.
Nick Lindahl also won his first round at the same event against American Kevin Kim 6-3 3-6 7-6(4).
Jones, Guccione and Kelly will play their first round matches in Florida tonight.
Australia hosts Japan in their Asia/Oceania group one second round Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie 7-9 May on a specially built clay court at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.
The winner advances to the World Group Playoffs in September.
Play starts at 3pm on Friday 7 May with the gates open from 1.45pm. Play starts 1pm Saturday and Sunday with the gates opening at noon.