Darwin - Team warrior Lleyton Hewitt says it will be tough for Australia to
win this year's Davis Cup after learning their semi-final opponents will be
Andy Murray's Great Britain in September.
Australia, 28-time winners, fought back from 0-2 down to overhaul Kazakhstan
3-2 in Darwin on Sunday with 34-year-old Hewitt winning the fifth and decisive
World number three Murray set up a potentially epic Davis Cup semi-final
against them when he spearheaded Great Britain's 3-1 quarter-final win over
France in London.
Hewitt, who will take over as the Australian team's non-playing captain next
year, said after Sunday's triumph that he knows it will be a tricky challenge
for his youthful side.
"We're on the tougher side of the draw," he said.
"Argentina play Belgium in the other half, which is probably the weaker
The never-say-die Hewitt, who is aiming to add to the Davis Cup titles he
won in 1999 and 2003, said that over the past three or four years the event had
been as big as any Grand Slam for him.
"When I make my schedule, everything has worked around the Davis Cup
and trying to get the most out of myself," he said.
"I feel like I can still play a mentor role in the team at the moment,
especially on the doubles court.
"But these young guys (like Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis) are
the future of our team, and right at the moment I'm just trying to help them
out as much as possible."
Hewitt and Sam Groth were the last-day heroes against Kazakhstan after Davis
Cup captain Wally Masur went to them over young stars Kyrgios and Kokkinakis,
who lost Friday's opening singles.
Hewitt and Groth joined forces to win Saturday's pivotal doubles, before
triumphing in their singles matches on Sunday.
Masur, meanwhile, said he was confident bad-boy Bernard Tomic will be able
to sort out his issues with Tennis Australia in time to link up with the team
for the semi-final.
"At the end of the day, we are a pretty small fraternity of tennis
players and I hate to think there is someone like a satellite operating
individually," he said.
"I would like to think that we are all in this together."
Tomic was dumped from the quarter-final showdown against Kazakhstan after a
tirade at TA boss Craig Tiley and director of player performance Pat Rafter
following his Wimbledon exit.
The world number 25 made more headlines last week when he was arrested in
Miami after a noisy penthouse party.