Australia to host U.S. at former grand slam venue Kooyong

Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:52pm EST
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia will host the United States in their Davis Cup opener next year at Melbourne's iconic Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, the former venue of the Australian Open.

The grass courts of Kooyong in the city's leafy eastern suburbs hosted the grand slam tournament until it was moved to the current site at Melbourne Park in 1988.

Kooyong has since hosted a warm-up tournament for the Australian Open on the same hard-court surface used at Melbourne Park, but its showcourt will revert to grass for the Davis Cup tie from March 4-6.

"To play Davis Cup in Melbourne, the home of tennis in Australia, at a club like Kooyong with so much tennis history is a privilege," Australia's Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said in a media release on Thursday.

It will be the first Davis Cup tie staged at Kooyong in 10 years, and will mark the 46th encounter between Australia and the U.S. in the team competition.

Australia last played the U.S. in 1999, beating them in the quarter-finals on their way to the title.

Australia are second to the U.S. on the all-time winners list, with 28 titles to the Americans' 32.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)