Vintage Hewitt guides Australia into Davis Cup semis
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Aging tour warrior Lleyton Hewitt banished a tumultuous week for Australian tennis by guiding his team into the Davis Cup semi-finals on Sunday with victory in the final singles against Kazakhstan.
Australia will meet either Britain or France for a place in their first final since 2003 after the hard-bitten former world number one trounced Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-6(2) 6-2 6-3 in the Darwin sunshine.
After Nedovyesov blasted past the baseline to surrender, 34-year-old Hewitt slumped on his back on the grasscourt to deafening cheers from a raucous home crowd before being mobbed by his whooping team mates.
"I love the back-against-the-wall situation. That's what we had after day one," the two-times grand slam champion said in a courtside interview.
"We had to rally together and find a way to get the win.
"I've always said some of my greatest wins are in Davis Cup and some of my toughest losses are in Davis Cup so I'm going to enjoy this one.
"This is what dreams are made of."
Hewitt's win completed a stirring fightback for Australia, who were 2-0 down after the opening day when young guns Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, dubbed 'the Special K's' in Australia, both flopped in the singles.
Australia's number one Bernard Tomic was absent, booted from the team after a public tirade against the country's tennis administration at Wimbledon. Continued...