Tennis

Kyrgios backs Tomic for Davis Cup return

NICK Kyrgios says Australia’s Davis Cup team would be “idiotic’’ to ignore a recall for Bernard Tomic if he continues his return to form and ends his self-imposed exile.

Tomic’s return to the top 100 after a 14-month absence gives Australia a sixth man in it.

The Gold Coaster’s ATP Chengdu title last Sunday stepped up a fightback from the boondocks of a No.243 ranking in May.

“He’s more than capable of winning these events. He has great talent,’’ said Kyrgios, who confirmed on Thursday he would bid to defend his Brisbane International this summer.

“He had a good week, last week. If he is back on track and starts winning tournaments like he did last week, it would be idiotic not to take him into Davis Cup. He’s competed at the top level for how many years it’s been.’’

Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt said in February that Tomic was “digging a big hole for himself that he may not be able to get out of’’ when he joined a reality television show rather than make himself available for a Davis Cup camp.

Tomic also annoyed some in Tennis Australia by predicting in the week of Australia’s loss in that February tie to Germany that the Australian team could not win the Davis Cup without him.

Asked if Tomic had burnt his bridges with the team with his comments, Kyrgios said: “Technically, what he said wasn’t incorrect. We didn’t win this year.

“We have a lot of depth. If Bernard is doing well, we should all be happy for him as another person we could choose to play – it would be great for Australian tennis.’’

Brisbane International organisers announced entries from Kyrgios and 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov to make it three former men’s title winners in the 2019 field, including Andy Murray (2012-13), for the December 31-January 6 tournament.

Ranked No.27 towards the end of an injury-hit year, Kyrgios believes the Brisbane International, which was the only final so far this year, offers him his best start to the an Australian Open campaign.

“Winning the tournament there for the first time on home soil was a great thing. I look forward to coming back,’’ Kyrgios told The Courier-Mail from Tokyo.

“I won a title at the start of the year and then it was very tough. I’m thankful to be in a better space at the moment.

“I’m hoping to play the rest of the year and come out with a couple of wins.

“I love Brisbane as a city and have great memories of the tennis centre from the Davis Cup (win over the United States last year). It’s an unbelievable tournament there and I love the crowd support.

“Now you mention it, I will be thinking about it (defending the title) but it’s about playing it again because I feel super comfortable there. It’s great preparation for the Australian Open.’’

The 23-year-old Canberran needed six weeks off to heal a right arm injury which ruined his chances of beating German Alex Zverev in the Davis Cup tie in Brisbane in February.

“It’s been a tough year. I’ve had to battle a lot of injuries and I’m hoping to play the rest of the year and come out with a couple of wins,’’ he said.

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