Australia's Sam Groth and John Peers in action against Jiri Vesely and Jan Satral of the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup.
Australia's Sam Groth and John Peers in action against Jiri Vesely and Jan Satral of the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup. JOE CASTRO

Brisbane keen to host next Davis Cup tie

TENNIS: Tennis Queensland will press its claims to host Australia's Davis Cup tie against the US in April at Pat Rafter Arena.

Melbourne is out of the running for the April 7-9 quarter-final, having hosted last weekend's tie against the Czech Republic.

"We would love an opportunity to have at Pat Rafter Arena a quarter-final between two nations with such a rich Davis Cup history," TQ chief executive Geoff Quinlan said.

There have been reports that the International Tennis Federation now insists on a 6000-seat minimum for a world group quarter-final, but national associations can seek approval from the ITF to play at a smaller venue such as the 5500-seat Rafter Arena.

"The 6000 figure is a guideline only," a Tennis Australia spokesman said.

"Brisbane is in the running. Pat Rafter Arena can be extended to 6000 anyway by making some of the corporate seats public seats."

Only two years ago, TA played a quarter-final against Kazakhstan at a Darwin venue the North Territory Government said had a 4500 capacity.

Queensland fans have supported the national teams in good numbers at Rafter Arena when the Davis and Fed Cup teams have played there since it was opened in 2009.

TA will play the quarter-final on a hardcourt, making it easier for players coming straight from the Miami Masters from March 22-April 2 on hardcourts.

The US team, which won its first-round tie against Switzerland last weekend, had two top-25 singles players, Jack Sock and John Isner.

The Americans would be warm favourites on the rankings to see off an Australian team that plays without the estranged Bernard Tomic.

"It's a pretty quick turnaround, eight weeks or so, so the players get to go away and play in a few big tournaments before that," said Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, who declined to be drawn on Tomic's short-term future as part of the team.

An Australia-US tie in Brisbane would extend the city's historic link to the Davis Cup, as one of the most famous Challenge Rounds was played at Milton in 1958 between the first and second most successful nations in the competition.

Alex Olmedo spearheaded a US victory over Australian Grand Slam title winners Ashley Cooper and Mal Anderson.

As two of the best younger players in the game, Nick Kyrgios and Sock have been chosen to play in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden on World Tennis Day.

Sock, ranked No. 20, 12 places better than Tomic, has won two ATP titles and had wins last year over top-10 players Milos Raonic of Canada and Dominic Thiem of Austria.

News Corp Australia

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