Alex Bolt of Australia ahead of the Davis Cup Qualifier tie between Australia and Brazil at Memorial Drive on March 04, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Alex Bolt of Australia ahead of the Davis Cup Qualifier tie between Australia and Brazil at Memorial Drive on March 04, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Cup call-up a Bolt from the blue for Alex

If Lleyton Hewitt based his Davis Cup squad on good nature alone, then he is already onto an absolute winner.

If Lleyton Hewitt based his Davis Cup squad on good nature alone, then he is already onto an absolute winner.

Alex Bolt, who at 27-years-old has waited a long time for his Davis Cup call up, could not stop smiling when he caught up with The Advertiser this week, ditto the camp's other newbie James Duckworth.

Bolt does not have the top end kudos of the injured Nick Kyrgios or Alex de Minaur - he is currently world ranked 146 - yet it is not difficult to see why Hewitt would plump for Murray Bridge's finest.


Loyalty - tick, reliability - tick, willing - tick, ability - tick, adaptability - tick. Then there's the ability to thrive under pressure.

"In a big match I think he'll play really well for Australia. In the last two years he has handled the expectation of getting a wildcard into the Australian Open and grabbed it," Hewitt said.

Backing up the major where he reached the third round last year with another eye-catching Open showing in 2020 impressed the Davis Cup captain deeply.

"People look at wildcards and think you are getting a handout in some ways but there is a lot of pressure that comes with that, you want to put in a good performance. Alex did it, he beat Spain's Ramos-Vilas in five sets at the Open this year, he also led Dominc Thiem two sets to one there," Hewitt said.

Alex Bolt of Australia trains ahead of the Davis Cup Qualifier tie between Australia and Brazil at Memorial Drive. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Alex Bolt of Australia trains ahead of the Davis Cup Qualifier tie between Australia and Brazil at Memorial Drive. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Outlook though, arguably trumps all in Hewitt's thinking.
"Whenever I call him up to help with the boys as a left handed hitting partner, and it doesn't always fit into his schedule (as) he is in that tier below for a lot of the time, he will always make himself available to help everyone else. So it was his time to get the opportunity," the captain said.

The latest call to Bolt arrived when he was about to play a Challenger tournament in California.


"I was in Acapulco, just about to head to Indian Wells for the Challenger there and I got a call from Lleyton the night before I was due to board a flight saying they had picked me in the team," Bolt said.

"I wasn't really sure what the call was going to be about, then he talked about the Davis Cup and I sort of knew where the conversation was going. I had to cop the flight (cost) to Indian Wells but I would do that any day of the week to be picked in the squad."

That this is the real deal for Bolt is evident, Adelaide's Darren Cahill handing over his jacket (number 112) in a small ceremony on Tuesday while the former blond streaked mullet is now an immaculate short back and sides.

There is an extra self belief too bolstered by his five-set, January thriller with eventual beaten finalist Thiem.

"I was 2-1 up, I thought I was a big sniff to take the match, I was playing some unbelievable tennis, I had him on the back foot," Bolt said. "I was this close to taking him out, that's the beauty of tennis, he ended up making the final, anything can happen in this game.

"It gives me all the confidence in the world, taking it to one of the best guys. That gives me the belief that this is my level."



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