Australia’s United Cup hero Jason Kubler has revealed a heartwarming text exchange with Nick Kyrgios after the latter’s withdrawal opened up a spot on the team.
Kyrgios was set to be the headline act for Lleyton Hewitt’s Australian team before pulling out at the 11th hour to continue his preparations for the Australian Open.
Kubler took his place and has won both of his singles matches so far in the tournament. The 29-year-old helped Australia beat Spain in its final United Cup tie on Tuesday night, beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a singles leg.
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Following his win, Kubler revealed his communication with Kyrgios after his tournament-opening win against Great Britain’s Dan Evans.
“I actually messaged him after my match against Evo (Evans),” Kubler said.
“I messaged him, ‘Thank you so much for the opportunity’. Basically (said), ‘I hope your body gets better, and we can have a hit before the Australian Open.
“That’s the way I see it. He could have played, and he could have done unbelievably well, like I know we all think he can.
“Fortunately, he gave me the opportunity to play, and I have sort of taken it with both hands and run with it.
“Me personally, as much as I would have loved to see that Rafa-Kyrgios match or the Kyrgios-Norrie match, it’s just one of those things where luckily he handed me the opportunity and I’m just going for it.”
Kubler said he gets along with Kyrgios “pretty well” and said he expects to see the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up in the coming weeks.
While Kyrgios has not been with the Australian camp, Kubler said he has gained a lot from being around the rest of the group, especially team captain Hewitt.
“I have so many good things to say about Rusty (Hewitt), about Demon (Alex de Minaur), any of the Australian guys,” he said.
“When I hang around them, when I hang around Nick, Thanasi, Thommo (Jordan Thompson), (Christopher) O’Connell, I feel like I get lifted up.
“When I go out there and it’s a big situation, when I hang with them, it feels like I should be in those situations because that’s what they do.
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“I’m so happy that Rusty (Hewitt) was our captain. I’m so happy that I got another opportunity to play in front of him and play in front of a court that he loves.
“Creating these memories with these guys and strengthening our bonds. Now whe nwe see each other at tournaments we’re going to have these memories and our friendships are just going to be stronger and stronger.”
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