United States claim doubles success to keep Davis Cup hopes alive

Posted April 09, 2017

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

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

Kyrgios said he was banking on strong home support in Pat Rafter Arena against the Americans, after he battled a largely hostile crowd in his match with the popular Federer. "Im really proud of both boys, but theres still a bloody long way to go".

The win by Thompson, 22, set the Americans, the pre-tie betting favourites, back on their heels ahead of the clash between Australian Nick Kyrgios and American John Isner.

The decision looked poised to backfire as Peers and Groth raced out of the blocks to win the first set in just 27 minutes, and they looked good value to continue their positive Davis Cup run after previous doubles wins against the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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Kyrgios had some great outings during his recent great stretch, defeating world number two Novak Djokovic in straight-sets at Acapulco and Indian Wells.

Hewitt said it was no surprise Sock - the highest-ranked player in the tie - was subbed into the doubles after U.S. captain Jim Courier had telegraphed the possibility of a late change.

The USA team are well fancied because all of their players are ranked in the world's top 30 but Isner feels Kyrgios could be a thorn in their side.

"John's an incredibly tough guy to play but Nick did a great job of being crafty and getting some returns back in play". The visitors have Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson listed to play Sam Groth and John Peers but that can all change until an hour before play.

The American double-faulted again on the first and last points of a thrilling third-set tiebreaker and was unable to snatch back the momentum after that point.

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Isner has a 2-1 record against Kyrgios after beating the 21-year-old in their first two meetings at the Canadian and Madrid Masters tournaments in 2015 before losing in two tight sets in Atlanta last year.

Courier said the doubles win had given the Australians something to think about going into Sunday.

"The way Thommo went out there and backed himself under pressure, that's how I dreamt of his match playing out and I didn't think it was probably going to happen", Hewitt said.

Earlier, Thompson scored the biggest win of his career to date over top-ranked American Sock, claiming a tense 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victory.

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