Lleyton Hewitt has confirmed that he will compete in Australia’s Davis Cup Asia Oceania second-round tie against Japan in Brisbane. The tie will be played May 5-7 on a specially built clay court, with the winner advancing to the World Group playoffs in September. Hip surgery prevented the 29-year old from playing last month against Chinese Taipei, but Australia still was able to advance with a 5-0 victory.
Hewitt has struggled since making his comeback from surgery, taking three sets to beat 116th-ranked Somdev Devvarman before losing to Juan Ignacio Chela at the US Clay Court Championships in Houston, and then in Barcelona he fell to 59th-ranked Eduardo Schwank in Barcelona.
However, he did partner Mark Knowles to the doubles final there. ''I think it is a mighty effort for Lleyton to make it back," said team captain John Fitzgerald. "It speaks volumes about his commitment to Australia and to Davis Cup that he has put such a focus on playing this tie and getting us back into the World Group. He has shown terrific recuperative powers and has obviously put in a lot of work. He will be a major weapon for us on the clay.''
The remainder of the team is still to be determined, with as many as six players in contention for a place.
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