The determined Alex de Minaur is leading the Australian charge at this week’s 2022 Davis Cup Finals in Spain.
Malaga, Spain, 25 November 2022 | Leigh Rogers
It has been 19 years since Australia last advanced to a Davis Cup final – but that wait could end tonight with a semifinal victory against Croatia in Spain.
And according to captain Lleyton Hewitt, the Australian team is fired up to make the most of this opportunity too.
“It means a lot to the boys,” says Hewitt. “They wear their heart on their sleeve and they love wearing the green and gold.”
Hewitt believes such passion could prove pivotal against a strong Croatian line-up.
“They can go to another level,” Hewitt predicts of his Australian team.
Alex de Minaur is proving this by producing some of his best tennis in the Davis Cup competition. The 23-year-old has won 10 of his past 11 Davis Cup singles matches and is unbeaten so far this year.
Alex de Minaur
Captain: Lleyton Hewitt
> READ: Australian Davis Cup team playing with “a lotta heart”
Yet De Minaur faces a big task in the semifinal, where he is likely to be pitted against Croatian No.1 Marin Cilic.
Cilic, the US Open 2014 champion, is the only player to beat De Minaur in a Davis Cup singles match in the past four years. They faced off during the round-robin stage of last year’s Davis Cup Finals, with Cilic winning in three sets.
“They are always extremely spirited, a great young team, and always fired up,” Cilic says of facing Australia. “It’s going to be a great battle for sure.”
The Croatian team also boasts a strong doubles combination in Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic. The duo finished runners-up at last week’s ATP Finals and were Wimbledon finalists earlier this season, where they lost to Aussie pair Matt Ebden and Max Purcell in a five-set thriller.
Captain: Vedran Martic
This is the third time that Australia has faced Croatia, the 2018 Davis Cup champions and 2021 finalists, in the competition. The Australian team won their first meeting in 1996, but recorded a 3-0 loss last year.
The Australian team is aiming to advance to a Davis Cup final for the 48th time – and for the first time since 2003, when they clinched the title with victory against Spain in Melbourne.
> READ: Rich history inspiring Australian Davis Cup team
The 2022 Davis Cup Finals are broadcast live on the Nine Network in Australia, with coverage beginning from 2am AEDT (Saturday 26 November).
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!