Tennis: Hewitt leaves Australian Open doubles winner Kyrgios out of Davis Cup

Nick Kyrgios (right) and Thanasi Kokkinakis share a moment during the trophy ceremony at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, on Jan 29, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Nick Kyrgios has been left out of Australia's Davis Cup team to face Hungary next month despite his recent doubles victory at the Australian Open, although partner Thanasi Kokkinakis has been selected by captain Lleyton Hewitt.

Hewitt handed Luke Saville his debut while Australia's No. 1 Alex de Minaur, world No. 12 doubles player John Peers and Alexei Popyrin will also join Kokkinakis for the match, which will be played in Sydney on March 4-5.

But he also omitted Max Purcell and Matt Ebden, who had faced Kyrgios and Kokkinakis in the Melbourne Park decider just seven days ago.

"Alex has had most of his recent success in Sydney, winning the Sydney International a few years back but also some of his best results last month, including quality wins against (Matteo) Berrettini and (Ugo) Humbert," Hewitt said.

"Thanasi had a fantastic Australian summer. He really cemented himself as a top-100 player again, winning his first title at home in Adelaide and beating quality players.

"And then to go on to win the Australian Open doubles, this is going to give him a lot of confidence heading into this tie."

Kyrgios paired up with Kokkinakis to win the first Grand Slam title of his career in a run to the Australian Open final that saw the duo criticised by opponents for inciting rowdy behaviour from the Melbourne Park crowd.

Kokkinakis has been called up for the first time since 2015 and will be making his fifth appearance in the Davis Cup.

"It's a pretty cool feeling putting on those colours and playing for Australia," he said.

"That atmosphere is unmatched. It's a great reward for the summer I've had, for me and my team, and all the hard work I've put in."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.