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Davis Cup no longer a priority for Hewitt

Australia's number one player will consider his family and tennis playing schedule first before committing to Davis Cup in future.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 11:53 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Australia's number one Lleyton Hewitt will consider his family and tennis playing schedule first before committing to Davis Cup in future, his management said on Saturday.

Hewitt, who is his country's most successful singles player in the teams' competition, has an ankle injury and will miss Australia's Davis Cup tie with Switzerland in Geneva next month.

Press speculation here claims the 24-year-old former world number one has a strained relationship with Tennis Australia over the slow speed of the courts at the Australian Open.

Saturday's comments from Hewitt's management about his changed attitude to playing Davis Cup regularly will heighten the reasons behind his unavailability.

"He will assess each tie as it comes around," manager Rob Aivatoglou said.

"He has a family to consider now and he has to look at his scheduling, how it will effect his body, who the tie is against, what surface it will be played on.

"Each tie takes three weeks of preparation and playing and if we keep winning it's three weeks again and again, so it could be 12 weeks of the year out of his schedule.

"We don't think Lleyton has been given the credit he deserves for the commitment he has given to Davis Cup in the past," he said.

"But now there are a lot more priorities to consider, he is uncommitted at this stage and will look at the next tie later."

Hewitt holds the Australian record for most singles victories in Davis Cup with 27 to just six losses in 20 ties over seven years.

Hewitt has entered to play in a tournament in San Jose, California, the day after the Cup tie in Geneva finishes on February 12, but Aivatoglou denied Hewitt had snubbed the Australian team.

He said if he is not recovered from the ankle injury which ruled him out of the Cup, Hewitt will also not play the ATP event.

Aivatoglou said Hewitt and Tennis Australia had a range of issues they were discussing but said there was no suggestion he was bypassing Davis Cup because of his complaints over the court surface at the Australian Open.

Australia's team will be announced on Tuesday, Tennis Australia said.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 11:53 IST