‘I fully back these boys’: Hewitt to sit out Cup tie
AUSTRALIAN Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt will resist the temptation to play himself in the doubles of this weekend's qualifying tie against Bosnia-Herzegovina at Memorial Drive.
Hewitt, 37, remains one of the country's best doubles players despite retiring from the tour and has played in recent ties.
But he said he is now in a position with so many other options that he would back two of his five squad members - Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, doubles specialist John Peers and Alexei Popyrin - to bring home the bacon.
"I fell like with the options that we have - we have a lot of options and I'm happy with the way the guys are playing - I think we've got a team that can get the job done," Hewitt said.
"I fully back these boys to get the win."
Hewitt's declaration led to speculation he had retired from the game.
But the South Australian former world No.1 said he hadn't made any bold decisions.
"I haven't even thought about that yet," Hewitt said.
"But right in this tie, I won't be playing."
Hewitt expected to have a clearer picture of what the team looked like by Wednesday night.
Training form as well as match-ups against Bosnia-Herzegovina's world No. 52 Damir Dzumbur and No. 99 Mirza Basic would come into play when he and mentor Tony Roche discuss team selection.
Speculation over the teams came as Hewitt slammed the new format - best-of-three matches and a round-robin team tournament in Madrid in November to crown a champion.
He said he felt for the next generation of players, who would never experience a home final in the Davis Cup, and feared for the future of the historic competition."I haven't been a supporter since they first flagged the possible changes," Hewitt said. "I think it really hurts Davis Cup.
"For me, the two biggest points of difference the Davis Cup had - one was the home-and-away aspect of it and the second was that it was best of five sets.
"If you look at the pinnacle of our sport, which is the four majors, they're best of five sets in men's tennis.
"I think by us going back really hurts this event and how important it was.
"In terms of the structure and format in going into the finals I don't agree at all with it.
"I think having the finals in one place is ridiculous.
"I personally don't think all the top players will play.
"We'll wait and see."
Hewitt said the most disappointing thing was that young players like De Minaur and Popyrin would never get the opportunity to play a Davis Cup final in Australia.
"And it was probably one of the biggest joys that I got out of my career," Hewitt said.