Tennis Australia will not guarantee Lleyton Hewitt the Davis Cup captaincy on his retirement next year and will instead open up the process to a group of applicants, a report said Tuesday.
The head body announced in January that the two-time Grand Slam champion would take over from the outgoing Pat Rafter as Davis Cup captain with Wally Masur filling in as interim skipper this year.
But two-time Cup winner Pat Cash and former teammate Paul McNamee are also reported to be interested in the job.
They were both critical at the time of TA's announcement during this year's Australian Open to install Masur as interim captain in the period between Rafter's elevation to the performance director's role and the end of Hewitt's long playing career.
TA president Steve Healy said he expected Masur to be considered as a longer-term captain, although Hewitt has a strong rapport with his young teammates and was still reportedly favoured to take over the role next year.
"I think Lleyton's a fantastic candidate," Healy told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"He's just the most passionate Davis Cup player, and he's done a great job I think rebuilding a relationship with Bernie (Tomic) and all that sort of thing.
"But I just think there needs to be process and he'll be obviously a huge candidate for it, but we'd just like to see a process. We'd like to hear from Lleyton - and I've told Lleyton - what his vision for Davis Cup and the team is, and so on." He added that he understood why "people say 'yeah, I didn't get a chance', and so we want to correct that and give people a chance and make it open and transparent".
Masur was in charge of the Australians' dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 win over Kazakhstan in Darwin at the weekend, qualifying them for the World Group semi-finals for the first time since 2006, where they will play Great Britain.
Hewitt won the fifth and deciding singles rubber.