Australia's ATP Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt says that the host nation faces a tough task in the first edition of the new ATP team competition as they take on Germany, Greece and Canada in Brisbane when the tournament gets underway next week.
Germany will be led by World No. 7 Alexander Zverev, Greece will be spearheaded by recent ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and Canada will be led by youngster Denis Shapovalov. The Australian team will be led by youngsters Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios.
Hewitt says that the Australian team will be motivated at the tournament after being taken out by Canada in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in Madrid last month. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Hewitt was asked if he wanted to get revenge for the loss to Canada in the Davis Cup, the former World No.
1 commented, "Absolutely. They [Australia] will be ready to go when they step on the court. [But] I think on paper it is the toughest group there is. We didn't get a lot of luck with the draw. Every match will be tough in Brisbane but I think it is great preparation for their Australia Open."
24 countries have been split into six pools with the winners in each group and the two best second-placed teams entering the quarter-finals, where the tournament moves into a knock-out stage. Speaking about the youngsters like de Minaur, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov and Zverev, Hewitt says the youngsters will be competing for the Grand Slams in the coming years and hopes de Minaur, who won all his three Davis Cup singles matches last month, will step up to lead Australia to victory again.
"The group is full of the next generation of stars. These are the guys who will be fighting it out for the grand slams in the next five to 10 years. And I think Alex played some of his best tennis at the recent Davis Cup.
He beat Shapovalov in one of the best matches I have seen two young players play in a long time. I am expecting Alex to step up again."