Thanasi Kokkinakis has revealed Nick Kyrgios was actually asked if he wanted to play Davis Cup for Australia and rejected the offer, rather than being snubbed as first reported.
Team captain Lleyton Hewitt opted for Kokkinakis, debutant Luke Saville, World No.12 doubles specialist John Peers, Australian men's No.1 Alex de Minaur and World No 65 Alexei Popyrin for their March 4-5 tie against Hungary in Sydney.
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It was initially reported that Hewitt overlooked Kyrgios despite his Australian Open heroics in which he and Kokkinakis claimed their maiden grand slam doubles title.
But Kokkinakis has since revealed that it was Kyrgios who turned down an offer from Hewitt to return to the national squad.
“He definitely was asked to play,” Kokkinakis told Sky News.
“He has a few things on so he wasn’t able to play but he definitely didn’t get snubbed or anything.
"I saw those headlines and he didn’t get snubbed at all. Hopefully we can team up again in the future.
“I think Nick has shown he always loves playing for Australia. I’m not sure exactly what he has on, but he obviously has something pretty important.
“He’s obviously in our strongest team. He was definitely asked, and I think he and Lleyton have a good relationship, but he just wasn’t available for this time.”
Kyrgios and Hewitt have had a rocky relationship in the past, with the Davis Cup captain opting against picking Kyrgios in recent years despite the mercurial star saying he loves the team environment.
Lleyton Hewitt confident of success in Davis Cup
Hewitt said he is confident his team has enough firepower to match the Hungarians, who will be led by World No.39 Marton Fucsovics.
"Alex has had most of his recent success in Sydney, winning the Sydney international a few years back but also some of his best results last month, including quality wins against (Matteo) Berrettini and (Ugo) Humbert," said Hewitt.
"Thanasi had a fantastic Australian summer. He really cemented himself as a top-100 player again, winning his first title at home in Adelaide and beating quality players.
"And then to go on to win the Australian Open doubles, this is going to give him a lot of confidence heading into this tie.
"Popyrin got an opportunity to play a big Davis Cup match in the finals last year. He has a lot of firepower out there, a lot of weapons as well and certainly an option for singles or doubles.
"John Peers has been a regular in the Davis Cup team for a number of years now, he's a top 15 doubles player.
"He won the Sydney Tennis Classic a couple of weeks ago and played exceptionally well with Luke Saville at the ATP Cup last month.
"And Luke gets his first opportunity to represent Australia at Davis Cup. It's something he has worked extremely hard for, and I couldn't be prouder of him to get this opportunity and being able to present him with a gold jacket and his number."
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