Teenager Tomic opens for Australia against Germany

Australian teenager Bernard Tomic will face Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe on Friday in the opening rubber of this weekend's Davis Cup relegation match in Hamburg.

The 19-year-old Tomic, who Australia team captain Pat Rafter dubbed "disgracful" after a weak third set is his second-round defeat to Andy Roddick at the recent US Open, will play Stebe in the first of the five rubbers.

Rafter admits he has been impressed with Tomic since his weak display against Roddick at New York's Flushing Meadows at the end of August.

"I think everyone has been really impressed with how Bernie has been going," said Rafter with Tomic ranked 42nd in the world, with Stebe, 21, at 127.

"He has really put his hand up and done everything that has been asked of him on the court and is hitting the ball really well."

With a place in next year's World Group at stake in Hamburg, the absence of Germany's top two singles players has left the teams evenly matched for the clash at Hamburg's clay-court Rothenbaum stadium.

Philipp Kohlschreiber, ranked 18th in the world, was left out after a falling out with team captain Patrick Kuehnen and Tommy Haas, 21st in the world, has opted to skip the tie.

In Friday's second singles, top German Florian Mayer, 25th in the world, takes on 31-year-old former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, now ranked 100th.

In Saturday's doubles tie, Kuehnen has named Philipp Petzschner and Benjamin Becker to play Hewitt and Chris Guccione.

On Sunday in the singles, the respective teams' top two players Tomic and Mayer will face off while Stebe and Hewitt will meet in the fifth and final tie.

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