Hewitt, Scud at Adelaide International - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt, Scud at Adelaide International

By Daniel Brettig 23/11/2005 08:29:12 PM Comments (0)

A crack field featuring Australian No.1 Lleyton Hewitt, British talent Andrew Murray and American favourite James Blake will grace the Next Generation Adelaide International at Memorial drive from January 2-8 next year.

It is the progress of the tournament's lowest-ranked player, however, that will be of most interest to Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald.

Ageing Australian star Mark Philippoussis was granted a wild card into the event, his current ranking of 172 more than twice as lowly as any other entrant in the main draw.

Fitzgerald said that, at 29, Philippoussis needed to give himself a chance to "take a run at" the success that his talent deserves.

"He showed some good signs at the end of the year, it has been a tough couple of years in terms of his body," he said.

"We all know what he's capable of, and if he can just get a run at it over a period of time he'll play well.

"There are windows of opportunity and he's still in his 20s so he's still got some time to have some good years."

The tournament will provide a Davis Cup rematch of sorts for this year's finalists Croatia and the Slovak Republic, with Croatian super-servers Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic joining Slovak baseliners Dominik Hrbaty and Karol Beck in Adelaide.

Fitzgerald cited the breadth of global tennis participation, alongside Australia's troubled player development process, as reasons why Davis Cup success may prove difficult to achieve in the near future.

"Countries can win the Davis Cup from anywhere, if you can get two or three class players in a small country you're a threat," he said.

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