wnol.info July 19 2018

Kyrgios: "Tomic has lost his way"

July 19 2018, 04:54 | Van Peters

Lucas Pouille and Jo Wilfried Tsonga will lead the French in their opening two singles rubbers

Lucas Pouille and Jo Wilfried Tsonga will lead the French in their opening two singles rubbers

In Davis Cup, they can at least be confident of something approaching a full-blooded performance from Kyrgios, who loves the team aspect of the competition and played a leading role in Australia's quarter-final victory over the United States in April.

France and Australia remain favourites to advance to the final, but neither takes a lead having shared the spoils in the opening round of singles matches.

"It's such an important tie for Australian tennis", said Todd Woodbridge, who was part of the 2003 winning team.

"His knowledge of the doubles game is huge", Hewitt said.

Though Kyrgios has had a tumultuous 2017 as a singles competitor, the 22-year-old Canberran has delivered the goods during the premier worldwide team event in men's tennis.

The win followed Lucas Pouille's shock defeat in the opening singles match.

Belgium and Australia took one point each in two thrilling Davis Cup semi-final matches on Friday, with David Goffin returning from injury to beat John Millman and Nick Kyrgios overpowering Steve Darcis in five sets in Brussels.

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Next up on the indoor clay court in the Belgian capital Australia's gifted but combustible Nick Kyrgios (20th) faces 33-year-old Steve Darcis (77).

Neither of the Belgians play a great deal of doubles but with Peers' regular Davis Cup partner Sam Groth not in the team, the Aussies will field a new-look doubles team.

The last time Australia reached the final, Lleyton Hewitt, the current team captain, was in his prime and fittingly, he will oversee the country's best chance of adding to its 28 titles in over a decade.

Australia's No. 1 player nearly saw his team put on the brink of defeat going into the doubles tilt, but Kyrgios had other ideas. When Kyrgios spoke to Australian media he said, "You're not playing for yourself and I find it easier to play for these guys and I feel it's helped me so much throughout my career".

"We are sufficiently intelligent to know that it's going to be a hard match", the 1983 French Open victor said. We were pretty good mates when I was younger.

John Peers and Jordan Thompson will take on the wily Ruben Bemelmans, who played in the last meeting between the two nations in Townsville seven years ago, and rookie Arthur De Greef in Saturday's doubles rubber. Darcis is known for his terrific play at Davis Cup level and will need to continue that trend for Belgium to overcome the Australians.

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