Absent Kyrgios focus of attention before Davis Cup semifinal
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) As Britain prepares to take on Australia in the Davis Cup semifinals this week, the focus will be as much on who's missing as who will be taking the court in Glasgow.
Andy Murray will lead a team bidding to win Britain's first title since 1936, while the visitors will be without Nick Kyrgios, who lost to the Scot in the opening round of the U.S. Open and who has frequently drawn controversy for his antics this season.
In the second round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal in August, a court microphone picked up a vulgar remark that Kyrgios made about the reported girlfriend of his opponent, Stan Wawrinka.
Earlier this year, Kyrgios appeared to make little effort to return serve in the second set of his fourth round loss against Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon after arguing with the umpire, while against Murray at the U.S. Open earlier this month, the 20-year-old closed his eyes and appeared to fall asleep while he sat in his chair at the end of the second set.
Australia Davis Cup captain Wally Masur spoke to Kyrgios after his U.S. Open defeat and they agreed it was best for him to miss the match against Britain, which starts with Friday's singles.
''Nick played Andy at the US Open and we sat down two days later,'' Masur said. ''Nick has had a really full year, in more ways than one so far. We felt that, mutually, this was the best fit for him and the best fit for the team.
''To be honest, we look at Nick as a 10-year proposition. He's going to be a great player for Australia. But this Davis Cup tie just came around a bit too soon.''
Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and Thanasi Kokkinakis make up Australia's team.
For the 34-year-old Hewitt, who will retire after the Australian Open in 2016, this is a final shot at Davis Cup glory.
''In my last year playing, it's a great opportunity,'' Hewitt said. ''With my experience and the other boys' youth out there, we've really mixed it up.
''I think a lot of the pressure is on, obviously, Andy. So whoever gets the opportunity to take him on, on day one, has got nothing to lose, you can go out free swinging and play your game. I think Andy pretty much has got to win that match.''
Murray rejected claims that Britain is a one-man team, and that all the pressure was on him.
''I wouldn't say it's all on me. We got into this position by everyone in the team playing their part,'' Murray said. ''I think there's pressure on everybody. It's Lleyton's last chance to win the Davis Cup and he'll be feeling pressure as well.''