Aussies confident ahead of Davis Cup tie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies confident ahead of Davis Cup tie

By Sam Lienert 07/02/2006 08:29:38 PM Comments (0)

Youthful enthusiasm, a friendly location, and most importantly, the absence of Swiss maestro Roger Federer, have buoyed the hopes of Australia's fledgling Davis Cup team ahead of this weekend's tie in Geneva.

Cup captain John Fitzgerald said his inexperienced team - with Peter Luczak and Chris Guccione having played just one dead rubber each and Paul Hanley none - was increasingly confident of causing an upset.

And the only member of the Australian squad with any notable Cup experience - Wayne Arthurs - said the location of the first-round clash on foreign soil could help Australia.

"The different nerves you have going into the match, the expectation you have from an Australian crowd, the expectations of performing are immense," Arthurs said from Geneva of the difficulties of playing a live Davis Cup rubber for the first time.

"It's probably a little bit easier over here for these guys going into a match where you don't have 15,000 Aussies supporting you."

The expected capacity crowd of 6,000 at the indoor SEG Geneva Arena, where a claycourt has been specially laid, are likely to conduct the typical Swiss practice of ringing cowbells.

But Fitzgerald said it should certainly be one of the tamer away venues.

"In terms of the players that haven't played live matches before and are stepping into the fold it's a good atmosphere to do it in," he said.

"There certainly will be pressure, but not as much as in some places."

Fitzgerald was unwilling to give away his likely line-up before Thursday's draw.

But it is expected claycourt specialist Peter Luczak will take one singles berth, with experienced doubles combination Arthurs and Hanley likely to pair up again.

Arthurs' vastly greater experience and higher ranking than Guccione is likely to earn him the second singles berth.

Despite preferring faster surfaces, Arthurs can point to some good performances on clay, including reaching the fourth round of the 2001 French Open.

Fitzgerald said the news that world No.1 Roger Federer would skip the tie had provided a big filip to his squad.

"In these ties you've got to find a way to win, realistically with Roger it's a difficult ask and everyone's aware of that," he said.

"Without him, we're in good form, they're going to have to play well to beat us now.

"Has it pumped us up a bit? I think it probably has, we're confident that we can win."

It leaves Switzerland's top three singles players as Stanislas Wawrinka (ranked No.51), George Bastl (137) and Michael Lammer (210).

Fitzgerald said rather than being daunted, the Australian youngsters were lapping up the opportunity provided by the absence of big names Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis.

"In a lot of ways this is the pinnacle of what a tennis career is in Australia," he said.

"The tradition is so strong to play Davis Cup for Australia that this is an opportunity that players dream of.

"If you have players jumping out of their skin to play, they'll give everything and not leave anything in the tank."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news