Carsten Ball has been chosen along with Lleyton Hewitt to play a singles rubber for Australia in the Davis Cup tomorrow against Japan. Peter Luczak, ranked 40 places higher than Ball, played singles earlier this year in the tie with Chinese Taipei.
Luczak is a more experienced clay court player than Ball but he apparently has a wrist injury that would be better served by some time off. Captain John Fitzgerald has long promoted the abilities of Ball but has frequently ‘preserved’ him for doubles or chosen others such as Hewitt or Tomic instead of Ball, to some irritation for the American born Australian. However this time Ball has not been over looked and Tomic has been told to learn how to play on a clay court. “We like the match-ups we have and it is time for Carsten to step up and go to the next level. This is his first live singles rubber and we think he is ready.”
“There is no doubt it is a nightmare schedule for all of us,” Hewitt said in Brisbane today. It’s ridiculous to be playing this week firstly. The ITF really have got to have a good look at it. Because if you are expecting to play two Masters series for the ATP, and then come back and play a Davis Cup tie in between that – it takes a lot of effort.” – Lleyton Hewitt