Lleyton Hewitt’s going for another Davis Cup record

HE HAS already played at Wimbledon for the last time, and in January Lleyton Hewitt will make one final appearance at Melbourne Park before retiring after the Australian Open.

But as much as he loves those tournaments, the Davis Cup has always held a special place in his heart.

Hewitt made his debut in the tournament as an 18-year-old against the US in the quarter-finals in 1999, recording upset wins in both singles rubbers against then world No.8 Todd Martin and Alex O'Brien. He suffered his first defeat in the final against France, although the Aussies went on to claim their 27th title.

He also led Australia to victory in 2003, and by 22 had recorded more Davis Cup wins than any other Australian player.

Ahead of the quarter-finals against Kazakhstan, which start in Darwin today, Hewitt has re-written the record books, setting new marks for most wins, most singles played, most ties and most years by an Australian.

He will add to those when he partners Sam Groth in tomorrow's doubles.

Rising star Thanasi Kokkinakis will lead off Australia's campaign today when he takes on Kazakhstan's top player, world No.63 Mikhail Kukushkin, in the singles.

Nick Kyrgios, who injured his right thigh playing basketball earlier in the week, will face off against world No.115 Aleksandr Nedovyesov in the other singles.

Captain Wally Masur said he wasn't underestimating Australia's opponents.

"I'm actually nervous about this tie, because the Kazakhs are really good Davis Cup players," he said.

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