Lleyton Hewitt's eye-opening call on Nick Kyrgios after Wimbledon

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Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios, pictured here in action for Australia.
Lleyton Hewitt wants Nick Kyrgios back in the Australian Davis Cup team. Image: Getty

Lleyton Hewitt says he would welcome Nick Kyrgios back into the national team with open arms following his sparkling run to the Wimbledon final.

Kyrgios became the first Australian man since Mark Philippoussis in 2003 to make the final at the All England Club, falling at the final hurdle to 21-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic.

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Kyrgios was asked by Hewitt to join the Australian squad for the Davis Cup competition earlier this year, but the 27-year-old declined.

Speaking ahead of his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, Hewitt said he would love to have Kyrgios back in the national set-up.

"We'd absolutely love to have him playing for us," the 2002 Wimbledon champion said.

"We're a much stronger side if he's available and can play for us. And he's an option for singles and doubles matches, which is important in this format."

Kyrgios, who last played Davis Cup in November of 2019, won the Australian Open doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis in January.

"To have that kind of weapon at your disposal, we'd certainly want him to be part of that if possible," Hewitt said.

Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios, pictured here at the ATP Cup in 2020.
Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios at the ATP Cup in 2020. (Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)

Kyrgios' thundering serve, his superb shot-making and hot temper have combined to make him one of the sport's most captivating players.

Hewitt revealed he reached out to Kyrgios after Sunday's final.

"Deep down, he's still pretty disappointed to come so close but not win," he said.

"But as I told him, he should be extremely proud of the performances over the last two weeks and throughout the whole grass-court season.

"Everyone knows the kind of firepower and game style that he has and what he's capable of doing. He just has to go out there and keep believing in himself."

Nick Kyrgios reveals ongoing support from Hewitt

Hewitt and Kyrgios haven't always seen eye-to-eye, with Kyrgios previously accusing the Davis Cup captain of playing favourites with certain Aussie players.

The mercurial Aussie went as far as to claim Hewitt had 'abandoned' him and Kokkinakis in an explosive tirade in 2019.

But the pair have patched things up in the years that have followed, with Kyrgios revealing before the Wimbledon final that Hewitt is one of the only Aussie greats who have always supported him.

"The greats of Australian tennis, they haven't always been the nicest to me personally. They haven't always been supportive," Kyrgios said at the All England Club.

"They haven't been supportive these two weeks. So it's hard for me to kind of read things that they say about me.

Lleyton Hewitt, pictured here with wife Bec and Alex de Minaur in 2018.
Nick Kyrgios has previously accused Lleyton Hewitt (L) of showing favouritism to players like Alex de Minaur (R). (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

"And the kind of only great that's ever been supportive of me the whole time has been Lleyton Hewitt. Like he knows.

"He's our Davis Cup captain, and he kind of knows that I kind of do my own thing. I'm definitely the outcast of the Australian players.

"He knows to kind of keep his distance and just let me do me. He just sends me a message here or there, 'Keep going'. That's literally it. Just, 'Well done. Keep going'."

Hewitt, who was captain when Kyrgios was on the Davis Cup team three years ago, said the combustible star probably doesn't need a full-time coach.

But would Hewitt ever consider taking on the challenge of coaching Kyrgios, who berated his box from the court during the final?

"Well I can't do it at the moment anyway because I'm Davis Cup captain, so the decision is easy right now," he said with a laugh.

with AAP

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