Aussies get chance
Doubles victory puts team in box seat for Davis Cup finals charge
JOHN Peers and Jordan Thompson’s straight sets doubles win on Saturday gave Australia a 2-1 Davis Cup lead over Belgium in Brussels and put Australia on the brink of a first final in 14 years.
Victory for either Nick Kyrgios or John Millman overnight would set up a home decider in November against either Serbia or France.
Two-time Grand Slam champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-1 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in Lille on Saturday to give France a 2-1 lead over Serbia.
Should Kyrgios lose against David Goffin, all attentions will switch to John Millman to get his country over the line against world No. 77 Steve Darcis – who beat Carsten Ball in a similar situation seven years ago in a World Group playoff in Cairns.
“They are two quality players going head-to-head in what will be a tough battle for their country,” Hewitt said.
World No. 20 Kyrgios said he was looking forward to facing Goffin and believes he is serving as well as he has all year after hurling down 34 aces against Darcis in Friday’s fiveset success.
“It’s going to be tough, but he’s got to make some adjustments,” Kyrgios said.
“He’s never beaten me before. He doesn’t know what that feels like.
“I am going to have that at the back of my mind. I am serving well and that is the best part of my game.
“But at the same time it’s a different match. David hardly hits any slices but it’s all about match-ups and I feel confident.”
Hewitt confirmed Millman will definitely play in the second rubber, despite a sapping 3½-hour encounter against Goffin on the opening day.
The captain has the option of switching players in the squad, but said it was unlikely he’ll look to Thompson who has only spent 90 minutes on court.
“John played pretty well yesterday, he did a lot of things right,” he said. “The boys did a lot of hard work last week and will be pretty happy with their bodies.”
Hewitt was part of the sides that lost to Belgium in both 2007 and 2010 but said there are no lingering memories of Darcis’ memorable win for his country seven years ago.
The former world No. 1 was full of praise for Thompson and Peers who dominated their match against Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur de Greef to win 6-4 6-3 6-0.
Australia's coach Lleyton Hewitt, centre, cheers as players John Peers, left, and Jordan Thompson react after victory in a Davis Cup World Group semi-final doubles tennis match against Belgium in Brussels on Saturday