Lleyton Hewitt is putting his faith in the Nick Kyrgios powers of recovery as Australia prepare for next month’s debut edition of the ATP Cup.
The 24-nation competition which was born as a direct challenge to the revised and reduced Davis Cup format brought to life by Spanish organisers last month, has spelled the death of Perth’s Hopman Cup and the ATP-WTA Sydney event, traditional Australian Open run-up events.
Tennis Australia offered some solace by staging preliminary rounds for the January 3-12 in Perth and Brisbane, with preliminary and the knockout stages taking place in Sydney.
Kyrgios is expected to start for Australia but is providing plenty of pre-holiday worries for Hewitt; but the 24-year-old is struggling with a collarbone injury from the Davis Cup nearly a month ago.
Joining Kyrgios on the squad is 18th-ranked Alex de Minaur in group F in Brisbane against Germany, Greece and Canada.
“It (injury) has happened a couple of times now so it is a little bit of a concern leading into an Australian summer where hopefully he is going to be playing a lot of matches,” Hewitt said.
“The shoulder and collarbone area are obviously such a big part of his game, to be able to serve at the power that he does is a real weapon for him.
“I am still really confident that he can go out and back Alex de Minaur up.
Nick always plays well in Australia – hopefully he can do that in January.”