The Davis Cup Finals draw took place on Thursday in Madrid, with 18 nations drawn in six groups that will fight for the title between November 18-24 at Caja Magica. Australia is one of the federations that were the loudest against the new Davis Cup rules although they had to accept them in the end, defeating Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide in the first weekend of February to secure the Finals berth.
Lleyton Hewitt's squad had an easy day at the office, with John Millman and Alex de Minaur delivering the opening singles rubbers wins before John Peers and Jordan Thompson sealed the deal for the yellow squad that will now seek the 29th Davis Cup crown in Madrid, the first in 16 years!
Lleyton's primary goal will be to motivate players (they are all against the new format) so late in the season and have the entire team healthy and ready to compete on the highest level on an indoor hard court at Caja Magica.
Six group winners will secure the place in the quarters together with two best-ranked runner-up countries, with the semi-finalists guarantee a spot in 202 Finals as well. Teams who finish between the 5th and 16th spot will compete in 2020 Davis Cup Qualifiers while the four worst squads have to go down to Group 1 in the next season.
If Nick Kyrgios finds the form in the rest of the season and decides to play for his country again, Australia should be the favorites against both Belgium and Colombia, hoping for a deep run and a chance to fight against Serbia, France, Croatia, Spain, Russia, Canada and other strong teams that secured the place at the Finals.
“The end of the year is a tough time for a lot of guys because they get worn out. It’s about managing guys’ bodies but also mentally being ready to play an event for your country at the end of the year and trying to peak for that.
That’s probably something for me and the support staff more to deal with and come up with ideas to try and get the guys motivated as much as possible to go out there and perform to their best”.