Kyrgios to play Davis Cup for Australia, despite probation

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FILE – In this Sept. 21, 2019 file photo, Nick Kyrgios returns a ball to Roger Federer during their singles match at the Laver Cup tennis event, in Geneva, Switzerland. Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt says he has been willing to overlook Kyrgios’ recent outbursts on the ATP Tour to select the talented but wayward star in his team for the revamped Davis Cup finals. Kyrgios is currently serving six months probation on the ATP tour after a meltdown at the Cincinnati tournament in August and calling the ATP “pretty corrupt” during this year’s US Open. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt said he’s willing to overlook Nick Kyrgios’s recent outbursts on the ATP Tour, selecting the talented but wayward star for the revamped Davis Cup finals.

Kyrgios is serving a six-month probation on the ATP Tour after a meltdown at the Cincinnati tournament and calling the ATP “pretty corrupt” during the U.S. Open in August.

The suspended sentence applies only to the ATP Tour and not Davis Cup competition. Hewitt said he’s confident the 24-year-old Kyrgios will be on his best behavior at the 18-team Davis Cup finals in Madrid from Nov. 18-24.

Hewitt said Kyrgios’s latest ban hadn’t affected his decision to select the player for the Australian team, drawn in a group with Belgium and Colombia.

The Australia team also includes No. 28 Alex de Minaur, Jordan Thompson, John Millman and doubles specialist John Peers.

“I feel like on the Davis Cup court he’s done absolutely everything I’ve needed in the past; he hasn’t put a foot wrong,” Hewitt said. “There’s a lot of things he does in a team environment that I actually think we will see the best of him.”

Hewitt, a two-time Davis Cup winner with Australia, said Kyrgios had withdrawn from recent tournaments with a shoulder injury.

“After the Laver Cup he had a shoulder (or) collarbone injury, which he’s pretty much over now. But he had to take a few weeks out as he felt like if he kept playing that was going to jeopardize his chances of possibly playing Davis Cup,” Hewitt said.

“He comes in a little bit underdone, but I’m fortunate he’s a guy who can light it up when he needs to. I think he’s a guy that this format will suit.”

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