Hewitt named for Australia Davis Cup world group playoff

Melbourne: Australia has pinned its hopes on ageing warhorse Lleyton Hewitt to steer the country back into the Davis Cup`s world group, naming him in both singles and doubles for their playoff against Belgium in Cairns this week.

The 29-year-old former world number one will take on Belgian number two Steve Darcis in the singles while Carsten Ball will meet 79th-ranked Olivier Rochus.

Hewitt will then partner doubles specialist Paul Hanley against Rochus and Darcis on Saturday, while the reverse singles will be played on Sunday.

Hewitt was bundled out of the recently completed US Open in the first round by Frenchman Paul Mathieu in his earliest exit from Flushing Meadows and has struggled with hip and calf injuries this year.

The tie offers a chance for revenge for Australia, who lost to Belgium in the world group first round in 2007.

Australia have chosen a slick plexicushion surface for the tie at the Cairns International Tennis Centre, which the Belgians have complained plays excessively fast.

"When we played them (in 2007) they put us on indoor clay courts which is our least favourite surface -- so we are putting it back on them this time," Australia coach Todd Woodbridge told local media this week.

Bureau Report