Hewitt's massive praise for Aussie Davis Cup team

 

Davis Cup great Lleyton Hewitt claims he's never been around a more united team than the Australian side he'll captain against Belgium in this weekend's semi-final in Brussels.

Hewitt competed in four finals and has won more matches for Australia than any other player in a record 42 appearances over a 17-year period in the premier team event of men's tennis.

The South Australian was instrumental in Australia's Davis Cup triumph over Spain 14 years ago when he beat world No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero in the opening rubber to lay the foundations for the 3-1 win at Rod Laver Arena.

That was the last time Australia ruled the roost, but Hewitt believes Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Jordan Thompson and John Peers are on the verge of something very special.

"In the last two years since I have been in charge these blokes haven't put a foot wrong," Hewitt said.

"The team camaraderie is as good as I've ever been involved with in Australian tennis and Davis Cup teams.

"That is something we have really tried to work on and bring back and that is why we are having the success we are having."

The team that beat the USA in this year's quarter-finals. Pic: Getty

Hewitt has masterminded three wins in his four matches since taking charge in 2016, including a memorable 3-2 win over the USA in Brisbane in April.

The 36-year-old said that win was one of the best moments of his glittering career.

"America have been our arch rivals for many years," he said.

"We're both grand slam nations, have won it most times between us and that was the biggest tie we've won since the final in 2003.

"It was something I was pretty proud of seeing those boys going out there and doing that."

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Nick Kyrgios, set to lead the challenge on day one against Belgian No.2 Steve Darcis, feels at his happiest within the team environment been created by Hewitt.

"I love being part of this team," Kyrgios said.

"Growing up I played a lot of basketball and every time we come together ... I love it.

"These are the closest friends I've got on the tennis tour.

"What we are going to do now is going to last forever. It's such an enjoyable environment and a lot of fun."

Kyrgios, who admitted after his first-round US Open exit to John Millman that he struggles for motivation, says he has no such problem when representing his country.

"You're not playing for yourself and I find it easier to play for these guys and I feel it's helped me so much throughout my career," he said.

"These are the most fun weeks of my career, no doubt.

"The weeks we had in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney ... that is what I love about Davis Cup."

Victory over Belgium would earn Australia a home final in November against either France or Serbia.

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