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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Temperamental Nick Kyrgios overlooked for Australia's Davis Cup qualifier

Captain Lleyton Hewitt picks lesser-known but in-form players for February 1-2 tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been sliding down the tennis rankings in recent times. Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been sliding down the tennis rankings in recent times. Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Captain Lleyton Hewitt on Tuesday overlooked Nick Kyrgios for next month's Davis Cup qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina and instead opted for Australia's in-form stars.

Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, Alexei Popyrin and doubles specialist John Peers were named for the February 1-2 tie at Adelaide's Memorial Drive.

But Hewitt, who engaged in a bitter war of words with Bernard Tomic over his Davis Cup exclusion last week, opted not to go with the talented but temperamental Kyrgios, who has been sliding down the rankings.

De Minaur's inclusion caps a huge 12 months for the youngster, who has risen up the rankings from 208 to 29 while winning his first ATP title in Sydney this month.

Popyrin, 19, was also named after delivering a career best showing at the Australian Open last week.

"De Minaur has had an incredible start to the year winning his maiden ATP title in Sydney and making the third round of the Aussie Open," Hewitt said.

"Popyrin showed us he can match it with the top players and it was pleasing to see him do so well in only his second appearance at a grand slam.

"John Millman and Jordan Thompson will bring experience to the team as will John Peers," he added.

Under a new format controversially adopted by the International Tennis Federation, the Davis Cup will now be decided at a week-long season-ending 18-team event. It will be held in Madrid in November.

Six teams are already guaranteed a spot with Australia - the second most successful Davis Cup nation behind the United States - needing to qualify.

A new format will see them play the Bosnians in best of three-set matches - as opposed to the previous five-set matches. The two singles are played on the first day and a doubles and the reverse singles on the second.

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