Sport Tennis Australia seek Davis Cup edge on grass

Australia seek Davis Cup edge on grass

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Australia’s big guns will have added motivation to be firing at Wimbledon this year, with the grand slam set to provide a perfect lead-in to a grasscourt Davis Cup quarter-final on home soil in July.

A Bernard Tomic-inspired Australian team ousted top seeds Czech Republic in Ostrava on Sunday to set up a last-eight clash against Kazakhstan, who upset Italy 3-2.

Australia’s first quarter-final tie since 2006 will be held just a week after the The Championships at the All England Club, and the hosts will elect to play on grass in a warmer northern location, possibly Darwin or Cairns.

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Tomic, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt and 2014 quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios have played their best tennis on the surface and Australia will be strongly suited in their quest for a place in the final four.

Interim captain Wally Masur also expects to be faced with a welcome selection headache for the July 17-19 tie.

Teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis produced an impressive singles win on day one against the Czechs but is likely to make way for the returning Kyrgios while Marinko Matosevic also prefers grass and will be pushing for selection.

“I don’t think we’ve had (this depth) for a while,” Masur said.

“Lleyton has shouldered a lot of the load in recent years but now with these young guys, we’ve got real options.”

Kazakhstan are led by top 100 players Mikhail Kukushkin and Andrey Golubev and have become World Group regulars in recent years.

A victory for Australia would set up a semi-final clash with France on home soil or the Andy Murray-led Great Britain team in England.


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