Rosewall tips Kyrgios to fire at Davis Cup

Adrian Warren
Nick Kyrgios is back in Australia's Davis Cup team for the first time since February 2018

Australian tennis legend Ken Rosewall is tipping Nick Kyrgios to perform well at the Davis Cup and use it as a confidence builder heading into next year's Australian Open.

Kyrgios and rising youngster Alex de Minaur, who is Australia's highest-ranked player, are expected to play the singles rubbers against Colombia in their first tie of the revamped competition in Madrid early on Wednesday (AEST).

John Peers and either John Millman or Jordan Thompson are poised to form the doubles pairing, with Davis Cup legend Lleyton Hewitt remaining as captain.

The flamboyant but temperamental Kyrgios has had another up and down year but Rosewall pointed out the 24-year-old reserved some of his best tennis for team events.

"We've got a good group and Lleyton Hewitt has done a good job with the young players, and I'm sure if Kyrgios gets involved he likes the team matches," Rosewall told AAP.

"So I expect him to play well and that's going to help give him more confidence to do well in the Australian Open."

Under the revised format, the Davis Cup Finals have been squeezed into a single week with 18 nations competing in a six group round-robin -before quarter-finals, semi-finals and a decider.

The traditional five-match ties have been reduced to three, comprising two singles and a doubles.

Rosewall played in Australia's Davis Cup winning teams of 1953, '55 and '56 and represented his country in the competition until the mid 1970s.

He feared for it's future if top players in years ahead opted to participate in the lucrative new multi-nation ATP Cup starting in Australia in January, rather than contest the Davis Cup..

"These team events they've got to be successful only if the top players are competing," Rosewall said.

'"If by chance next year that there's some players drop out of the Davis Cup because the ATP event here in Australia... it's going to be disastrous for the Davis Cup, which has been a main part of the International tennis program.

"When I played Davis Cup there was only 30 counties but this year there was 130, so it's done a lot for tennis."

"But this particular ATP Cup is a new concept and Tennis Australia are very much involved with that and want to keep it in Australia for a certain number of years, so I suppose it's good from a players point of view; there's a lot of money involved.

"I think it's going to be kind of a good competition but we're disappointed that the Davis Cup has been downgraded."