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Ball takes second singles spot
Brisbane, 06 May 2010
Big-serving Carsten Ball has surprisingly been given a singles nod ahead of Peter Luczak for Australia's Davis Cup clash with Japan in Brisbane starting on Friday.
The seasoned Luczak, ranked more than 40 places higher than Ball at No.71, had been tipped to join Lleyton Hewitt as the singles players for the Asia-Oceania second round tie on clay at Pat Rafter Arena.
But Australian captain John Fitzgerald unveiled 22-year-old lefthander Ball as his second singles option in a move that clearly surprised the Japanese team.
While Luczak has reportedly been nursing a wrist injury, Fitzgerald said match-ups were the main reason behind his decision.
"We like the match-ups we have and it is time for Carsten to step up and go to the next level," Fitzgerald said.
"This is his first live singles rubber and we think he is ready.
"And Lleyton is leading off which always take more pressure off, but I think it is Carsten's time."
Fitzgerald said Luczak had a "niggle" a few days ago but would be ready to play the reverse singles on Sunday if needed.
The draw conducted on Thursday sees Hewitt begin the tie against Tatsuma Ito on Friday while Ball plays Yuichi Sugita.
Ball has also been chosen to partner Paul Hanley in the doubles against Takao Suzuki and Go Soeda on Saturday.
Davis Cup draw: Australia v Japan, Brisbane
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Tatsuma Ito (JAP)
Carsten Ball (AUS) v Yuichi Sugita (JAP)
Paul Hanley/Carsten Ball (AUS) v Takao Suzuki/Go Soeda (JAP)
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Yuichi Sugita (JAP)
Carsten Ball (AUS) v Tatsuma Ito (JAP)