- 22 Oct 2019
Lleyton Hewitt welcomed the return of “different character” Nick Kyrgios to Australia’s Davis Cup team.
The controversial Kyrgios has not represented his country since February 2018 but is back for the Davis Cup Finals, beginning in Madrid on November 18.
Rumours of a rift between Kyrgios and Hewitt surfaced at the beginning of this year following the latter’s well-publicised fall-out with Bernard Tomic.
Kyrgios claimed at a news conference at the Australian Open there was “not really” a problem between the two when addressing the situation, but later in the tournament appeared to aim a dig at Hewitt with a deleted Instagram poll.
The 24-year-old has also endured another controversy-filled season on the ATP Tour and was hit with a fine and suspended ban for hurling abuse at umpire Fergus Murphy in a defeat to Karen Khachanov at the Western and Southern Open in August.
However, Australia captain Hewitt said the two have met to clear the air and praised Kyrgios’ attitude towards the Davis Cup.
“For Nick and I this has been something that he flagged with me around March,” Hewitt said when speaking to reporters.
“We sat down at Indian Wells and went through things and he has been so willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the Davis Cup team and play for Australia.
“Nick’s a different character and I understand that and we’re not always going to put everybody in the same box.
“You’ve got to deal with different personalities in all kind of sports, and I feel like I know Nick as well as anyone.
“I feel like on the Davis Cup court he’s done everything I’ve needed in the past whenever he’s been a part of the team. He hasn’t put a foot wrong, he’s out there picking up balls, half coaching and encouraging other players.
“There’s a lot of things he does in a team environment that I actually think we’ll see the best of him.”
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Hewitt has been impressed with Kyrgios’ willingness to get back involved with the team.
“He didn’t play in Austria last year purely more because of his body, and then he obviously had issues at the start of this year,” he added.
“For him it was straight away I got a message saying, ‘Mate, I want to get back in the team.’ The great thing is he has a great relationship with all the players as well.
“He trains with them every day of every tournament, he hangs out with our coaching staff, physios and everyone else.
“In terms of that it’s never really been an issue, it’s kind of about him wanting to be a part of the team and do the right things day in day out.
“For me I’d much rather have him on my team.”