‘Not se­ri­ous’ Kyr­gios pulls Aussies level in Davis Cup

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

PARIS: Nick Kyr­gios clinched a five-set thriller to pull Aus­tralia level with Bel­gium in the Davis Cup semi-fi­nals on Fri­day, just hours af­ter ad­mit­ting he wasn’t tak­ing ten­nis se­ri­ously enough.

The com­bustible Kyr­gios came back from two sets to one down to de­feat 33-year-old Steve Dar­cis 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2 in 3hr 36min on the clay courts of Brus­sels’ Palais 12 arena.

Kyr­gios fired 34 aces and 41 win­ners to take his Davis Cup sin­gles record to seven wins in eight, as Aus­tralia fin­ished the day at 1-1 af­ter world num­ber 12 David Gof­fin had beaten 185ranked John Mill­man 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

Kyr­gios, de­feated in the first round of the US Open by com­pa­triot Mill­man ear­lier this month, went into the match suf­fer­ing a hip in­jury as well as a lack of mo­ti­va­tion.

Writ­ing on www.play­ersvoice. com, the 22-year-old said: “I am not the pro­fes­sional ten­nis needs me to be”.

“I’m not mak­ing the im­prove­ments I should be­cause I don’t want it enough, I’m not tak­ing it se­ri­ously enough.

“There is a con­stant tug-of-war be­tween the com­peti­tor within me want­ing to win, win, win and the hu­man in me want­ing to live a nor­mal life with my fam­ily away from the pub­lic glare.”

How­ever, he was over­joyed by his per­for­mance in Brus­sels as Aus­tralia, the 28-time cham­pi­ons, seek a place in the Davis Cup fi­nal for the first time since they last won the ti­tle in 2003.

“(Cap­tain) Lley­ton He­witt and I have put so much ded­i­ca­tion into this, the Davis Cup has been my No.1 pri­or­ity this year. I think we must be favourites go­ing into the dou­bles’ to­mor­row,” Kyr­gios told davis­cup.com.

Jor­dan Thomp­son and John Peers will play the dou­bles against Arthur De Greef and Ruben Bemel­mans with the re­verse sin­gles to be played on Sun­day.

In Lille, Du­san La­jovic made a mock­ery of the ab­sence of No­vak Djokovic to give Ser­bia a shock lead over France in their semi­fi­nal.

World num­ber 80 La­jovic edged Lu­cas Pouille, ranked 58 places higher, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5) in the first rub­ber of the tie also be­ing played on clay.

“This is what the Davis Cup is all about,” said Ser­bia cap­tain Ne­nad Zi­mon­jic, who is with­out his three lead­ing sin­gles play­ers -- Djokovic, who is side­lined un­til 2018 with a wrist in­jury, Janko Tip­sare­vic and Vik­tor Troicki.

How­ever, France, the nine­time cham­pi­ons, lev­elled the tie at 1-1 when Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga downed Davis Cup debu­tant and world num­ber 95 Laslo Djere, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-3.

France cap­tain Yan­nick Noah was crit­i­cal of his own per­for­mance.

“I did not have a very good match as a cap­tain. I was a bit stressed and I think I passed my stress to Lu­cas,” he said. “I’ll have to im­prove our com­mu­ni­ca­tion for the next rub­ber.”

In the play-offs, where the win­ners will com­pete in the World Group next sea­son, 2016 cham­pi­ons Ar­gentina are 1-1 against Kaza­khstan af­ter US Open quar­ter-fi­nal­ist Diego Schwartz­man eased past Dimtri Popko 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Mikhail Kukushkin had given the hosts the lead by see­ing off Guido Pella 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 6-4.

Boris Becker’s first day as head of men’s ten­nis with Ger­many ended with his coun­try -- miss­ing broth­ers Alexan­der and Mis­cha Zverev -- level at 1-1 in Por­tu­gal.

Ja­pan are 2-0 up on Brazil as are the Czech Repub­lic in the Nether­lands.

Switzer­land, the 2014 cham­pi­ons, are 1-1 against Be­larus while Colom­bia and Croa­tia and Hun­gary against Rus­sia also shared the open­ing day’s hon­ours.

Later Fri­day, Canada wel­come In­dia to Edmonton. - AFP

Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios (L) re­acts af­ter win­ning his match against Bel­gium’s Steve Dar­cis dur­ing the Davis Cup semi­fi­nal ten­nis match be­tween Bel­gium and Aus­tralia in Brus­sels. - AFP photo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.