In what could well be one of the shortest retirements in the history of sport, Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt has named himself to play in the first round of the Davis Cup first round tie against the United States at Kooyong this weekend.
However, it is worth noting that he has been given little choice, as Nick Kyrgios has been ruled out of the tie due to a virus. Hewitt, Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers make up the four-man team.
Groth will take Kyrgios’ place in the singles, where he will play John Isner while Tomic will take on Jack Sock in the other clash on the first day.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
This means it is a distinct possibility that Hewitt will partner the debutant Peers in the doubles against the Bryan brothers.
Depending on how the tie goes, he may well play in the reverse singles on Sunday.
Hewitt confirmed that playing was the furthest thing on his mind a couple of weeks ago, but circumstances have forced his hand due to Kyrgios' illness, and said: “You've just got to have back-ups and plan B's, plan C's, plan D's, you've got to have everything in place.”
The two nations have plenty of history in this competition, having met on 45 occasions. The United States hold a 25-20 record overall, and a 19-17 record on grass - the surface this tie will be played on.
It has been 17 years since they last played in the competition and on that occasion, Australia defeated the USA 4-1.
Groth and Isner have never met on the ATP tour, but it is sure to be a quick fire encounter with both players possessing two of the biggest serves in the game.
Meanwhile, Tomic has lost to Sock on all three occasions they have met, although they have all been on a hard court.
It should be another terrific encounter between the two nations.