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.
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 185-ranked John Millman 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3,
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.
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 semi-final.
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.
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
However, France, the nine-time 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.
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.
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
Japan are 2-0 up on Brazil as are the Czech Republic in the Netherlands.
the 2014 champions, are 1-1 against Belarus while Colombia and Croatia
and Hungary against Russia also shared the opening day's honours.
and India were tied at 1-1. Ramkumar Ramanathan's four-set win over
Brayden Schnur got India off to a flying start. But 18-year-old Denis
Shapolavov prevailed 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 4-6, 6-1 over Yuki
Bhambri to level the tie.
Davis Cup results on Friday (all times SA time):
At Lille (clay court, outdoor)
France 1 Serbia 1
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) bt Laslo Djere (SRB) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-3
Saturday (from 14:00)
Nicolas Mahut/Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) v Nenad Zimonjic/Filip Krajinovic (SRB)
Sunday (from 13:00)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Lucas Pouille (FRA) v Laslo Djere (SRB)
At Brussels (clay court, indoor)
Belgium 1 Australia 1
David Goffin (BEL) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-5
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2
Saturday (from 15:00)
Arthur De Greef/Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Jordan Thompson/John Peers (AUS)
Sunday (from 14:00)
David Goffin (BEL) v Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
Steve Darcis (BEL) v John Millman (AUS)
World Group playoffs:
Kazakhstan 1 Argentina 1
Colombia 1 Croatia 1
Switzerland 1 Belarus 1
Netherlands 0 Czech Republic 2
Portugal 1 Germany 1
Japan 2 Brazil 0
Hungary 1 Russia 1
Canada 1 India 1