Alex de Minaur (left) watches his supportive teammate Nick Kyrgios play against Jan-Lennard Struff.He has taken rookie sensation Alex de Minaur under his wing in ‘s Davis Cup team, acting like an “older brother”.
But Nick Kyrgios does not believe he will need to do much nurturing after the teenager’s heartbreaking loss on debut against Germany in Brisbane on Friday.
n No.1 Kyrgios says the 18-year-old has already put his gut-wrenching defeat to world No.5 Alex Zverev behind him and is focusing on redemption in Sunday’s reverse singles.
De Minaur threatened a boilover when he pushed Zverev to the limit before succumbing in a four hour, five set epic at Pat Rafter Arena.
World No.14 Kyrgios levelled the first round tie at 1-1 when he thrashed German No.2 Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets.
n captain Lleyton Hewitt revealed on Friday that Kyrgios had taken on an “older brother” role with de Minaur since the teenager joined the team.
Kyrgios said he felt for de Minaur, who cut a shattered figure after finally succumbing 7-5 4-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to Zverev – ranked 134 places higher than the plucky n.
But Kyrgios said he would not need to say too much to motivate de Minaur ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles rubbers.
“He’s okay now. He understands …what happened is done now,” Kyrgios said.
“I can’t see why he won’t be able to do it on Sunday.”
Hewitt said Kyrgios had been quick to bond with de Minaur after the teenager joined the team following a stellar summer in which he made his first ATP tour final.
“He’s sort of been his older brother,” Hewitt told Seven Network.
“They are the things Nick does which the public doesn’t see.”
Kyrgios also impressed Hewitt on the court after storming to his seventh straight win at Pat Rafter Arena.
“Super impressed with this bloke,” Hewitt said of Kyrgios.
“Everyone expects him to take care of these matches.
“I’ve been in that position before and it’s not an easy thing to do.”
Kyrgios deflected praise to de Minaur, describing his debut as “unbelievable”.
“I thought he was more than capable of winning that match,” he said.
“For his debut, I thought he did a great job. He’s going to take so much from that match.”
‘s John Peers and Matt Ebden take on Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk and Tim Puetz in Saturday’s doubles rubber.