April 24, 2017

United States claim doubles success to keep Davis Cup hopes alive

09 April 2017, 02:52 | Candice Butler

Kyrgios confident of taking down big-serving American

Sam Groth Australia Tennis Davis Cup 2016

Sock, who had both thighs massaged when he went behind a break of serve in the fourth set, now looks unlikely to play in Saturday's doubles as he now faces a testing return singles with Kyrgios 24 hours later.

The quarterfinal matchups for the Davis Cup have been announced on Thursday, with Australia's Jordan Thompson, ranked number 79 in the world, facing off against Jack Sock of the United States in the first match in Brisbane, on Friday.

Thompson's first serve velocity averaged out at 190kmh through the first three sets, with his fastest ball clocking 222kmh, and he moved eagerly at the back of the court. But the U.S hasn't won the Davis Cup since 2007, Australia since 2003.

Kyrgios, the in-form world number 16, stands in the way of the United States of America team, all of whom are ranked in the top 30 in singles.

"I try and defend him and stick up for him a lot as well, but I love having him in my team."

US team captain Jim Courier, left, talks to his players during the doubles match between Australia's Sam Groth and John Peers, and Jack Sock and Steve Johnson of the the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal in Brisba.

Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt said building pressure on Isner would be the key to victory for Kyrgios.

"In-form Sock, the highest ranked player in the tie at world number 15, will be going into the unknown all weekend as he has never previously faced Kyrgios either".

He is drawn to face big-serving John Isner in the second singles rubber with Kyrgios winning their most recent meeting in the final of last year's Atlanta ATP event.

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The victor will play Italy or Belgium in the semifinals in September.

Australia's Sam Groth and John Peers are not low-ranked journeymen, as was the Swiss team Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen.

Thompson's career accelerated a year ago when he won four Challenger titles, and also managed his first win in an ATP main-draw match, in Sydney.

"We've been here before", Courier said after unheralded Jordan Thompson and Nick Kyrgios combined to give the Aussies their Day 1 lead.

On Sunday, Kyrgios is up first and scheduled to play Sock, and then Thompson is set to take on Isner.

"He's our leader and we're going to back him to go out there and play well".

Hewitt felt the day's play illustrated that if a decision is made later this year to have Davis Cup matches best-of-three sets, it would make the competition, he said, a "bit Mickey Mouse".

"I definitely feel like I've really put in an effort to try and do it consistently".

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