Davis Cup call-up
By Rob O’Gorman
Bernard Tomic is poised to make his Davis Cup debut after being named in the Australian squad to tackle Chile later this month.
Tomic was named in the six man squad along with Chris Guccione, Peter Luczak, Carsten Ball, Brydan Klein and Sam Groth for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Play-off in Antofagasta.
The 15 year old had his first taste of Davis Cup action in April this year when he joined the team as a hitting partner for Australia’s tie against Thailand in Townsville.
Tomic said he was honoured to get the opportunity to represent Australia at such a young age.
“I’ve had experience in Townsville, it was a good feeling and to do it again is an honour so I’m really happy about it,” he told tennis.com.au.
“It was definitely an unbelievable experience in Townsville and I really wanted to do it again so when I got the call I was very excited.”
Tomic, who will travel to Las Vegas ahead of the tie to practice on clay with Ball, Guccione and Davis Cup coach Darren Cahill, said if chosen in the final team he was ready to step up to the demands of international competition.
“It’s up to Fitzy and Darren to decide [the team], I’m just going to try my best, help out with the boys, help out with the team and hopefully we can do well no matter what happens,” he said.
“It’s going to be pretty tough, they’ve got [Fernando] Gonzalez, [Nicolas] Massu and [Paul] Capdeville, they’re all top 100 players and Gonzalez reached the fourth round here [at the US Open] so it’s going to be tough but we will try our best, Gooch is playing good tennis so I think we can get in there and have a chance.”
Australia, minus an injured Lleyton Hewitt, can expect some tough opposition from a Chilean squad spearheaded by Olympic silver-medallist and Australian Open 2007 finalist Fernando Gonzalez.
With Guccione and Luczak the only players to have worn the green and gold before, at least two players will make their Davis Cup debut when the final four-man team is named prior to the September 19-21 tie.
Optus Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald said he was looking forward to the challenge and excited by the talent in his young squad.
“Of course Lleyton Hewitt’s absence is a blow. But here is an opportunity for a couple of these young guys to step up in what will be one of the toughest competitive environments in the world.
“These are the sort of opportunities which can uncover strength of character and an intensely competitive streak in a player,” Fitzgerald said.
“We will go in as underdogs, but this is Davis Cup and history shows that anything can happen.”