By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, November 21, 2023
The Australian Davis Cup team is a long away from home for this week’s Davis Cup Finals.
The Aussies aim to exert their unique “home court” advantage to make a deep run in Malaga, Spain.
Given the fact the Spanish squad did not qualify for the elite eight in Malaga, Aussie players with Spanish roots—Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin—are hoping Spanish fans will show the green-and-gold some home love and adopt the Aussies as the home-away-from-home team.
After all, they are home players in a sense.
De Minaur’s mom, Esther, is Spanish, he speaks fluent Spanish, grew up splitting time between Alicante and Australia, attended primary school in Spain and still trains in Alicante.
“Well, hopefully since there is no Spanish nation, then we’ve become the home nation,” de Minaur said with a smile. “So I’ll be encouraging all of the people from Malaga to come and support.
“We had a great, great atmosphere playing, and hopefully we can have that from the first day. You know, let them know that we’ve got a bit of Spanish blood in this team, not only myself, we have Alexei as well. Yeah, if we can get more crowd support, we’ll take it.”
The 40th-ranked Popyrin moved to Spain in 2010 and calls this week a “home tournament.”
“I lived in Alicante for five years where Demon lives, and lived actually in Marbella for another five years. I’m kind of a local here now,” Popyrin told the media in Malaga. “No, I’ve got a lot of friends here. Most of my best friends are from this area, from Andalucia. Yeah, it’s basically a home tournament for me. Yeah, it’s good.”
Australia faces the Czech Republic in Wednesday’s 4 p.m. quarterfinal. The winner will play either Canada or Finland in Friday’s semifinals.
Photo credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty