Proppy Kyr­gios puts in­jury scare into Davis Cup camp

BIG RED ON THE RADAR

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - ROHAN O’NEIL

DAVIS Cup cap­tain Wally Ma­sur is ner­vous – and it’s not Nick Kyr­gios’ sore thigh that has him on edge.

Kyr­gios ( pic­tured right) sent a scare through camp at train­ing yesterday when he was forced to the side­lines with a prob­lem right thigh.

The 20- year- old looked proppy as he stretched the area for sev­eral min­utes. He was able to re­turn to train­ing but cut short his ses­sion af­ter to ice his leg.

Ma­sur played down any fears Kyr­gios would miss this week’s Davis Cup quar­ter- fi­nal against Kaza­khstan, say­ing the world No. 41 will be fit to re­turn to the courts to­day.

“He’s fine,” Ma­sur said. “He played over three hours of ten­nis yesterday. He played a bit of bas­ket­ball this morn­ing.

“He’s got an op­por­tu­nity to

shortly get on that match court mor­row. No dra­mas there.”

With Bernard Tomic banned, Kyr­gios has been slated to play a key role in Aus­tralia’s bid for a first semi- fi­nal ap­pear­ance since 2006.

Ma­sur has no doubt Kyr­gios will be able to han­dle the re­spon­si­bil­ity. “I prob­a­bly shouldn’t say it, but he’s a fu­ture grand slam win­ner,” he said. “He’s an amaz­ing player.

to- But you don’t just walk into those sit­u­a­tions. There’s a lot of hard work to be done.”

On pa­per, Kaza­khstan’s team of jour­ney­man shouldn’t pose much of a threat. Mikhail Kukushkin is No. 63 in the world, while Alek­sandr Ne­dovyesov ( No. 115), and An­drey Gol­ubev ( No. 155) are low in the ten­nis peck­ing or­der.

But Ma­sur has put his charges on red

help lure more top- qual­ity tal­ent to Townsville.

“Play­ers want to play next to Brian be­cause they love the way he plays the game, he’s a man’s man and he takes ev­ery chal­lenge,” he said.

“He doesn’t back down, and that’s the at­ti­tude we want to bring to the Crocs mov­ing for­ward. We’re not go­ing to back down to any­body.

“We’ve helped Brian and he has helped us and it says we are do­ing some things right on the floor when a player of his cal­i­bre wants to come back to town.”

Off- sea­son re­ports have linked the Townsville club to a num­ber of Aus­tralian and Amer­i­can tal­ents, with Dennis trav­el­ling to New Zealand to watch Amer­i­can guard McKen­zie Moore in the re­cent NZNBL fi­nals.

alert against a coun­try that has made the quar­ter- fi­nals in four of the past five years.

“I’m ac­tu­ally ner­vous about this tie, be­cause the Kaza­khs are re­ally good Davis Cup play­ers,” Ma­sur said.

Sam Groth, Thanasi Kokki­nakis, and Lley­ton He­witt are in a three- way bat­tle to join Kyr­gios on day one.

Vet­eran Ade­laide big man Luke Schen­scher has also been linked with a re­turn to the club that he helped lead to the semi- fi­nals from 2010- 12, and while Dennis wouldn’t be drawn on names he did say the club ex­pected to an­nounce a front­court part­ner for Con­klin some­time this week.

“In the next few days we are hop­ing to an­nounce a guy that will go next to Brian and I think they will form a very for­mi­da­ble part­ner­ship,” he said.

“We are ex­cited to look at our front­court and say it’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult for guys to match up against.

“When you look at our front­court we just need to add a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence to that and we are hope­ful of get­ting that deal over the line and then we’ll have a great mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Pic­ture: CALUM ROBERT­SON

TALL TAR­GET: For­mer

Ade­laide 36er Luke Schen­scher may re­turn to The Swamp for the

2015/ 16 NBL sea­son.

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