Hamburg: Veteran Lleyton Hewitt is eager to help Australia get back into the Davis Cup World Group when the promotion/relegation match against Germany starts on Friday.
"It is very important to me for us to be in the World Group once again," Hewitt said at Hamburg's clay-court Rothenbaum stadium with Australia last having been involved in the Davis Cup's top tier back in 2007.
Wins over China in February and South Korea in April have given Australia the chance to face Germany for a place in next year's World Group, while the hosts face the relegation battle after February's home defeat to Argentina.
Australian teenager Bernard Tomic will face Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in Friday's opening singles rubber before Hewitt, now ranked 100th in the world, faces top German Florian Mayer, ranked 25th.
In Saturday's doubles tie, Hewitt lines up alongside Chris Guccione to face Philipp Petzschner and Benjamin Becker, while Hewitt is ear-marked for Sunday's fifth and final rubber in the singles.
Having played alongside current team captain Pat Rafter in Australia's last Davis Cup match against Germany in 2000, when the hosts enjoyed a 3-2 quarter-final win on grass in Adelaide, Hewitt, 31, says he still feels fresh.
"I think I wear it well. In comparison to you, I look fresh faced," Hewitt cheekily told Rafter, 39, in a press conference when the pair shared a joke.
But there is no ignoring the effects of time on Hewitt, who has not won a tournament on the ATP Tour for two years.
In recent years, injuries to his foot, ankle, knee and hip have hindered the former world number one, who won Wimbledon in 2002.
"Motivation is not the problem," said his coach Tony Roche. "He loves to play."