FRESH from a gritty Miami Open fourth-round win over Ivo Karlovic, Nick Kyrgios has been named to lead Australia's Davis Cup campaign against the US in Brisbane next week.
Kyrgios will spearhead an unchanged team as Bernard Tomic's Cup exile continues indefinitely, with Jordan Thompson, Sam Groth and John Peers to join the push to get Australia into the semi-finals for the first time since 2015.
Tomic made himself unavailable for the first-round Davis Cup tie in February, citing scheduling issues, and has not won a match since.
The Queenslander withdrew from the Miami Open because of a back injury and his ranking has slipped from No.17 to near 50 after a string of poor results.
Having inspired Australia to victory over the Czech Republic in the first round at Kooyong, captain Lleyton Hewitt says Kyrgios is ready to shoulder the responsibility for victory against arch-rival the US.
"Nick's obviously our No.1 player, and we'll be relying on him heavily to get us through the tie," Hewitt said.
"He's beaten a lot of quality players since our first-round tie against the Czech Republic, and I feel the court in Brisbane is really going to suit him.
"He couldn't be in better form, and I really feel that he's in the right frame to go out there and get the job done.
"It's also a big opportunity for Jordan. He did everything that was asked of him at the last tie in Kooyong.
"He was the underdog in the first match on court against the Czech Republic's No.1 player, but he handled it amazingly well. A quarter-final against the States will be another step up, but I've got full confidence in him.
"As for Sam and John, they've played a couple of ties together now and have improved every time. They'll have to step up again, but they understand one another's game very well so I'm sure they'll give a great account of themselves."
Since guiding Australia to a 4-1 margin over the US, Kyrgios has struck form, twice defeating world No.2 Novak Djokovic and reaching the Acapulco and Marseilles semi-finals.
US captain Jim Courier is expected to name in-form Jack Sock, John Isner, Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey in his team.
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