Germany has drawn first blood in the Davis Cup first round tie against . n Nick Kyrgios plays against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in the Davis Cup in Brisbane.
Nick Kyrgios had to bide his time before his singles opener thanks to teammate Alex de Minaur’s heroics but quickly made an impact as levelled their Davis Cup clash 1-1 with Germany in Brisbane.
Kyrgios spent the opening four hours of the first round tie cheering on de Minaur courtside, as the 18-year-old rookie went down swinging on Friday in a five set epic to world No.5 Alex Zverev.
But Kyrgios made up for lost time, brushing aside Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets in barely 90 minutes at Pat Rafter Arena.
World No.14 Kyrgios – ranked 44 places higher than his opponent – seemed to hardly break a sweat as he overpowered the German No.2 6-4 6-4 6-4.
The hosts will look to take a 2-1 lead in Saturday’s doubles when ‘s Matthew Ebden and John Peers take on Peter Gojowczyk and Tim Puetz.
“Less time on court is good for me,” said Kyrgios, who has won six of his last seven Cup rubbers.
“I thought I did a good job getting it done quickly to be fresh for Sunday (reverse singles).”
Like the rest of the Aussie fans in the stands, Kyrgios rode an emotional rollercoaster court-side as he barracked for de Minaur during their classic clash.
Zverev’s big serve finally proved the difference as he held out Sydney-born, Spain-based de Minaur 7-5 4-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4).
Kyrgios looked like he may struggle to brush off the rust after sitting through the marathon opener but quickly found his range against an outclassed Struff.
“I wanted to be there for him, to share my experience with him,” Kyrgios said of cheering on de Minaur.
“But it’s easy for me (to prepare for a match), I am always ready to go.”
n No.1 Kyrgios was in cruise control for much of the match, in an ominous sign for Zverev before they meet in Sunday’s key reverse singles rubber.
Kyrgios was at his nonchalant best on Friday, oozing confidence after a stellar summer run which included a Brisbane International triumph last month – his first ATP tour win on home soil – and an n Open fourth round finish.
In contrast, Zverev had to dig deep to hold out upstart de Minaur.
“He was unbelievable. He will take so much from that match,” Kyrgios said of de Minaur.
Captain Lleyton Hewitt was proud of de Minaur, saying the gruelling match would take its toll on Zverev in Sunday’s reverse singles.
Former world No.1 Hewitt though kept special praise for Kyrgios after levelling the tie.
“There was a lot of pressure on him. Everyone expects him to come here and take out the match – I know how that feels,” he said.
The best of five hardcourt tie’s winner advances to the quarterfinals from April 6-8 while the losing nation will contest September’s World Cup playoffs.