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Battle heats up for Davis Cup places

Tennis Australia
Sunday February 7, 2010

Spread across three continents Australia’s best male tennis players are engaged in an intense battle for places in the Davis Cup squad.

Australia will host Chinese Taipei in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1 first round tie at Melbourne Park next month.

Australia’s number one player Lleyton Hewitt had to have surgery on his hip late last month forcing him to miss the tie.

Big-serving Melburnian Chris Guccione is also out because of an achilles injury that has kept him off the tour since last year’s US Open.

Carsten Ball showed plenty of promise during the Australian summer and continues to push his claims for selection making the final of an ATP Challenger event in Dallas before losing to American Ryan Sweeting.

Along the way Ball has beaten Giovanni Lapentti (Ecuador), Andrea Stoppini (Italy), Mario Crugnola (Italy) and Michael Yani (United States).

Melbourne-favourite Peter Luczak also had a good domestic summer and has carried that form into the ATP World Tour where he made the quarterfinals of the Movistar Open on the Santiago clay in Chile.

Luczak beat Italian Potito Starace and Spain’s David Marrero before losing a three-set battle with the number two seed Juan Monaco from Spain.

Gold Coast 17-year-old Bernard Tomic impressed many during his five-set second round loss to Marin Cilic during the Australian Open.

He has taken that good touch on to the Australian Pro Tour event in Burnie beating Daniel King-Turner, Nick Lindahl, number one seed Grega Zemlja from Slovenia and Melbourne veteran Joe Sirianni on his way to today’s final against Greg Jones, which he won in straight sets.

Jones too is impressing many with his current level of play winning his way to the final with victories over Sam Groth, Matt Reid, John Millman and Japan’s Yuichi Sugita.

Matt Ebden, John Millman, Nick Lindahl and Marinko Matosevic have all played some top quality tennis in recent months and will no doubt be in the minds of selectors.

So too will be West Australian Brydan Klein who will be keen to find some of his old form when he defends his Pro Tour title in Mildura next week.

The Australian Davis Cup squad is expected to be named later this month.

The tie will be played March 5-7 at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne Park. Tickets are available through Ticketek at ticketek.com.au, on 132849 or at any Ticketek agency.

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