New York: World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt is confident Australia will overcome India next month to remain in the World Group for the 2003 Davis Cup competition, even if Mark Philippoussis misses the tie.
Philippoussis injured his left knee in a first-round match of the US Open and is expected to be out of action for two months. India meet Australia in the relegation play-off tie in Adelaide from September 20-22.
“I feel pretty confident,” Hewitt said. “We can all do the right things to get us back in the World Group.”
Hewitt had sympathy for the hard-serving ‘Scud’, who had healed a rift with Cup officials and returned to the fold for the first time in two years before injuring a knee that has already undergone three operations.
“It’s obviously bad news, not just for the Davis Cup tie but for his (Philippoussis) career,” Hewitt said.
“The poor guy has had so many injuries. You feel so sorry for him. If he got a bit of a break, I’m sure everyone knows what he is capable of doing.”
Australia were beaten by Argentina in World Group first-round action last February and hence are in a play-off stage.
India qualified for this round after thrashing New Zealand 4-1 in Wellington last April.
The visitors will be spearheaded by Leander Paes, who possesses a stupendous Davis Cup record. He and Mahesh Bhupathi will form a strong doubles combination, even though the former world No. 1 pair split six months back.
Either Harsh Mankad or Rohan Bopanna will play the second singles.