Rafter dumps Matosevic in favor of teens

by: Matt Cronin January 21, 2014

AP Photo

Australian Davis Cup captain Patrick Rafter has dumped world No. 54 Marinko Matosevic from his squad and instead chose teenagers Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis to face host France Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in La Roche sur Yon.

Lleyton Hewitt and doubles specialist Chris Guccione were also named to the team. Bernard Tomic is out with an injury. The 18-year-old Kyrgios and the 17-year-old  Kokkinakis both impressed in their Australian Open losses. Matosevic is said be lacking self-discipline.

“It's going to be a fantastic environment for these kids, and good for us as well," Rafter said. "It's at that stage where you want to believe and make this team as strong as we can and as deep as we can. I like the idea we got obviously Bernie there ready to come back after his operation, and Marinko hopefully able to overcome the things he needs to overcome to become a great Davis Cup player. Marinko understands. He knows what he has to do. Even though Marinko is the number two player, he's still learning, I guess, all the time.”

Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Julien Benneteau lead France

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