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Patriotic Australian team excited for Davis Cup Finals challenge | November 23, 2021 | All the news | News and Features | news and events




Strong friendships and national pride unite the Australian team ahead of the 2021 Davis Cup final.

Turin, Italy, November 23, 2021 | Darren Parkin

The Australian team is back in Davis Cup action this week after a 20-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia is one of 18 countries participating in the 2021 Davis Cup Finals in Europe, returning after being postponed in 2020.

Captain Lleyton Hewitt is confident that his Australian team can compete for the prestigious title.

“Two years ago we had a really good run in the Davis Cup final, where we won our group stage quite convincingly,” said Hewitt.

“In the end we lost an extremely tight quarter-final to Canada, who were allowed to make it to the final, so that gives us a lot of confidence.

“We have a slightly different team, but a lot of the guys have played in the Davis Cup before and understand the pressure and demand to represent your country and play well.”

The Australian group in the round-robin stage consists of Croatia, led by 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, and Hungary, whose top player is Martin Fucsovics with the world No. 40.

“I think a big focus is on Croatia in our first game,” Hewitt said.

“They are both quality teams. They have done very well to qualify, especially Croatia. They have won the Davis Cup before, so they know what it is all about.”

World Number 34 Alex de Minaur leads the Australian lineup, which also includes John Millman, Alex Bolt, Alexei Popyrin and John Peers.

> READ: Bolt added to Australian Davis Cup team

Hewitt spoke about the close-knit group of Australian players, the camaraderie they share and the benefits they bring along the way.

“As an Australian player, you pretty much had to establish yourself abroad to give yourself the best chance of playing the best tournaments and not have to go into quarantine every four to five weeks in Australia,” Hewitt said of the 2021 challenges for his team.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I know the boys are really looking forward to the Davis Cup.

“All the guys get on extremely well and they always push each other to make the most of the training sessions we have. That’s why I’m comfortable with the possible doubles combinations that we can use.

“It makes my decision about who to have on the team and who I want to play with a lot easier.”

Rising talent Rinky Hijikata, a 20-year-old who has won four ITF titles this season, is also in Turin as the team’s batting partner.

“He’s had a couple of solid years,” Hewitt said.

“He’s gone from strength to strength, and the more he sees the standard you need to get on the tour and get up close, especially how Tony Roche leads the practice, can only help a lot.”

Alex de Minaur believes that one of the team’s strengths is their close friendships.

“I think it’s the camaraderie, the team and the team chemistry,” said De Minaur.

“For once you don’t play for yourself, you play for your teammates, the people who support you, the coaches, a country. It’s just a special feeling.”

Pride in competing for Australia is a quality Hewitt continues to instill in his team.

“Davis Cup is always something close to my heart,” said Hewitt.

“To be next to the guys on the field again and give them a little edge off it and give them the belief that they can compete against the best teams in the world is really special.”

The Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals will be played in three cities Madrid, Turin and Vienna. Australia will compete in Group D alongside Croatia and Hungary from Thursday at the Pala Alpitour Arena in Turin.

Schedule Australian Davis Cup Teams Turin, Italy
Friday 26 NovemberFrom 2 a.m. AEDTAustralia v Croatia
Saturday 27 NovemberFrom 8 p.m. AEDTAustralia v Hungary

The Nine Network broadcasts the Davis Cup Finals live in Australia.

> Watch the full Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals draw

> View the full schedule of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals




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