Aussies in Davis Cup rematch with Hungary
Lleyton Hewitt's Davis Cup team will face a rematch with Hungary at an Australian venue next year as they seek to regain their place in the Finals.
Hewitt's men suffered a huge disappointment as they crashed out at the group stages in the current Finals in Turin but their tournament at least finished on a high last weekend when they came from one rubber down to beat a dogged Hungarian team 2-1.
Now the two teams have been paired together again in Sunday's draw for the 2022 qualifying tie to be staged in Australia on March 4-5. The winners will make it to the Finals, which have again been revamped for the end of next year.
Organisers have been buoyed by what they believed to be the success of the multi-city format of this year's Finals of the global men's team competition, which was held across three European venues before the last stage, including Sunday's final, was held in Madrid.
Next year's Finals will be expanded to five cities, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Sunday. Sixteen nations will compete in four groups across four cities with the top eight teams advancing to the knockout stages in a neutral fifth host city, which is still tipped to be Abu Dhabi.
Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt made it clear he is completely opposed to the event going to the Middle East for big money, saying it would be akin to "selling the soul" of the event which has thrived traditionally on its home-and-away system.
His first task, though, will be to get into the Finals again after a tough tie against the Hungarians last time out during which only Alex de Minaur's tremendous resilience in defeating Marton Fucsovics managed to drag Australia back into the tie.
The Aussies managed to finally prevail with Alex Bolt and John Peers taking the deciding doubles rubber but it was not enough to take them into the knock-out rounds after they'd earlier been defeated by eventual finalists Croatia.
2022 Qualifiers Draw (hosts first)
France v Ecuador
Spain v Romania
Finland v Belgium
United States v Colombia
Netherlands v Canada
Brazil v Germany
Slovakia v Italy
Australia v Hungary
Norway v Kazakhstan
Sweden v Japan
Argentina v Czech Republic
South Korea v Austria