Pride on the line in Davis Cup battle against Brits
AFTER a disappointing campaign at the US Open, Australia's men's tennis players will have the chance to restore some pride when they take on Great Britain in a Davis Cup semi-final in Glasgow this weekend.
Of the nine Aussie men who lined up in the singles draw at Flushing Meadows, only Bernard Tomic made it past the second round. He was beaten in the third round by Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Tomic will spearhead Australia's campaign in Glasgow, with veteran Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Groth and Thanasi Kokkinakis rounding out the team.
Britain will be led by world No.3 Andy Murray, with captain Leon Smith leaving his options open by naming a five-man squad.
Smith has named James Ward, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot after the trio were part of the team that beat France in the quarter-finals, and has included Kyle Edmund after he recently broke into the top 100 players in the world for the first time.
Andy Murray and James Ward have traditionally played singles in Davis Cup, with Murray and his brother Jamie pairing up for the doubles. But with Ward having lost his past nine matches on the ATP Tour, his position could be in jeopardy.
Australia's final line-up is also yet to be determined, although Tomic will no doubt play singles and Hewitt and Groth look certain to play the doubles, despite only reaching the second round at the US Open. That would suggest captain Wally Masur could select Kokkinakis for the opening singles against Andy Murray.
The Scot, knocked out of the US Open in the round of 16 by big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, will no doubt back up in the doubles in Glasgow with brother Jamie who was beaten in the doubles final in New York.
Meanwhile, Aussie Casey Dellacqua and her doubles partner Yaroslava Shvedova were unable to land their first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, beaten 6-3 6-3 in the final by veteran Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza. It was the second doubles title in New York for Hingis - she won her first with Jana Novotna in 1998.
Dellacqua is still looking for her first Grand Slam victory. The loss was her sixth in doubles finals, although the pain was no doubt eased by the fact her earnings have reached $A1.19 million in 2015 - the first time she has broken the million-dollar barrier in a season.