Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt (right) and Jordan Thompson.
Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt (right) and Jordan Thompson. Jack Thomas

Unknown Czech to face Aussie star Kyrgios

TENNIS: Unheralded Czech Jan Satral has been thrust into a Davis Cup baptism of fire against Australian spearhead Nick Kyrgios.

Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil sprung a major surprise by overlooking veteran Radek Stepanek for opening-day singles duties tomorrow (Friday) for the crucial first-rounder at Kooyong.

In the absence of Bernard Tomic, Jordan Thompson will make his Cup debut against explosive left-hander Jiri Vesely in the opening match.

Kyrgios then takes on world No 157 Satral, who recently lost in the first round of a Challenger in South Australia.

Sam Groth and Australian Open champion John Peers will represent Australia in the doubles rubber on Saturday against Zdenek Kolar and Stepanek.

Kyrgios and world No 54 Vesely will clash in the first of the reverse singles on Sunday, leaving Thompson to face Satral the fifth match.

Stepanek, 38, could still be drafted into the reverse singles.

Stepanek is among a small batch of potential coaches under consideration from Kyrgios.

The winner of this weekend's tie will advance to the quarter-finals against either the US or a depleted Swiss team, which is without both Australian Open champion Roger Federer and reigning US Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

If Australia and the US both win, April's quarter-final tie will be played in Australia despite the fact the US travelled to Kooyong last year.

The home-and-away anomaly emerged because Australia agreed to play successive ties in the US to help honour the competition's centenary in Boston in 1999.

Under the deal, Australia was given the right to stage two successive ties against its old enemy at home.

Australia leads 7-1 overall against the Czechs, having clinched a 3-2 upset in Ostrava two years ago.


Friday, from 11am

Jordan Thompson v Jiri Vesely

Nick Kyrgios v Jan Satral

Saturday, from noon

Sam Groth-John Peers v Zdenek Kolar-Radek Stepaenk

Sunday, from 11am

Nick Kyrgios v Jiri Vesely

Jordan Thompson v Jan Satral