He­witt says the Kyr­gios with­drawal threw team

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT -

LLEY­TON He­witt in­sists he had no choice but to play John Mill­man in the Davis Cup quar­ter-fi­nal de­feat by Canada fol­low­ing Nick Kyr­gios’s late scratch­ing.

Hopes of a first suc­cess since 2003 were dashed in Madrid af­ter Kyr­gios failed a late fit­ness test.

It forced Mill­man, who had been a spec­ta­tor for the whole tour­na­ment, to take on Vasik Pospisil who won the open­ing sin­gles rub­ber 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.

Alex de Min­aur fought back to beat De­nis Shapo­valov 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, but the Canadian duo backed up from their sin­gles matches to beat John Peers and Jor­dan Thompson in straight sets in the dou­bles.

Kyr­gios had been in top form in Aus­tralia’s open­ing two ties against Colom­bia and Bel­gium, win­ning his sin­gles rub­bers in fine style, send­ing down 38 aces in four sets of ten­nis in the process.

The com­bustible Can­ber­ran had also kept his cool through­out both matches and ear­lier in the week was la­belled the ul­ti­mate team man by He­witt af­ter be­ing in­vited back fol­low­ing an 18-month hia­tus.

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