Davis Cup: Hewitt steps in to keep playoff alive for Aussies

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GRAZ, Austria (AP) — Captain Lleyton Hewitt stepped in to help Australia reduce its deficit against Austria to 2-1 in a Davis Cup World Group playoff on Saturday.

Hewitt teamed with John Peers to win the doubles rubber against Oliver Marach and Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Former No. 1 Hewitt, who came out of retirement this year to compete on the ATP doubles circuit, had not played in the Davis Cup since 2016.

“It’s a lot of fun. There was a lot of pressure but it’s a great honor any time to play for Australia,” the 37-year-old Hewitt said.

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Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak won the singles on Friday, against Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur respectively.

Hewitt was expected to send out U.S. Open quarterfinalist John Millman in one of the decisive singles rubbers on Sunday.

“I haven’t even thought about that, yet. First we had to win this to try to keep the tie alive,” Hewitt said in an on-court interview after the doubles rubber.

Australia is without its best-ranked player, Nick Kyrgios.

The winner of the tie will be seeded for the qualifying round of the revamped Davis Cup in February.

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