Davis Cup final Australia vs Canada: Lleyton Hewitt emotional after Alex de Minaur, Thanasi Kokkinakis lose

Lleyton Hewitt has revealed he has done everything he can to convince Nick Kyrgios to return to play for Australia.

The Davis Cup captain made the statement after Australia was beaten 2-0 in the final against Canada on Monday — ending a surprise run where the Aussie team reached the final for the first time in 19 years.

Kyrgios’ absence from the Aussie team now stretches back three years.

The Wimbledon finalist made his intentions clear that he would not be making himself available to play in the Davis Cup when talking about being homesick in August.

Kyrgios has committed to playing the inaugural World Tennis League event in Dubai, beginning December 19.

Doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis also said earlier this year Kyrgios had been asked to play for Australia in an earlier Davis Cup qualifier.

Hewitt and semi-final hero Alex de Minaur said after the loss to Canada on Monday morning in Malaga they had both tried to entice Kyrgios back into the Aussie squad.

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“I don’t know, you have to ask him. I can’t try any harder,” Hewitt said in the post tie press conference, according to tennis journalist Gaspar Ribeiro Lanca.

De Minaur also said: “I’ve tried. Just wasn’t meant to be.”

De Minaur was downcast after losing 6-3, 6-4 to world number six Auger-Aliassime.

His loss came after Kokkinakis was also beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Denis Shapovalov.

Despite the tough loss in the final, Hewitt spoke with beaming pride about his team’s performance.

“They’ve put in the commitment, the work, they’ve done everything right,” he said.

“We’re extremely proud of the effort and dedication these guys have shown. I couldn’t be prouder and all of Australia should be proud of them.”

He also said he was “gutted” for his players.

De Minaur was unhappy with himself after failing to convert a number of break point opportunities.

“I just had one job to do, and that was to get my team into the deciding doubles. Sadly, I wasn’t able to perform today,” he said.

“You always want to do everything you can for your team, and I had chances. They just didn’t want to go my way today.

“We had the ultimate goal in front of us and on this day we weren’t able to perform.

“It’s tough, but so many Davis Cup Australian players have been following us, even if they didn’t play they were with us. This shows what a family this Australian team is.”

It was Canada’s first Davis Cup win.

“The emotions are tough to describe,” said 22-year-old Auger-Aliassime.

“Denis and I grew up together dreaming of these types of stage, dreaming of winning the Davis Cup. It’s a great moment for myself and for the country.”

De Minaur, ranked 24, paid for failing to convert any of his eight break points, hitting just five winners as Australia played their first Davis Cup final since 2003. Auger-Aliassime relied on his consistent serve with six aces and solid baseline play.

Shapovalov meanwhile was fuelled by his desire for a first singles win this week.

“Two tough losses this week and I’m very happy with the way I played today to get the win,” said the 23-year-old.

“It helped me being in the final before. Last time it was all kind of new, we were relieved just to be there but today we’re very much going for the trophy.”

The 18th-ranked Canadian had been out of sorts in a semi-final defeat to Italy on Saturday but hit back against Kokkinakis with 23 winners to the Australian’s five.

Shapovalov raced to a 4-0 lead after quarter of an hour in Malaga, sealing the first set with his ninth winner after half an hour.

The Canadian staved off three break points in the fourth game of the second set. Kokkinakis dug in to convert his first break point of four when Shapovalov was serving for the match and held serve but the Canadian was not to be denied sealing victory on his second match point.

“It was tough to lose in 2019, it was an empty feeling and we wanted it badly this time, said Shapovalov.

Canada had come a long way since they were eliminated in qualifying by the Netherlands back in March before being handed a wild card into the finals after the exclusion of Russia and Belarus following the invasion of Ukraine.

Canada then finished second in Group B behind Spain in September, before eliminating Germany in the quarter-finals (2-1) and Italy in the semi-finals (2-1) earlier this week.

On Sunday, Canada’s 2-0 unassailable lead meant that the final doubles rubber did not need to be played.

“We’ve been dreaming about this for several years,” said 32-year-old doubles specialist Vasek Pospisil.

“To be here as world champions I’m speechless. These guys are not kids any more. They’ve been crushing it. You can’t win this event without tremendous team chemistry.”


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