Published: Mon, February 05, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Germany grab Davis Cup lead over Australia after five-set victory

Germany grab Davis Cup lead over Australia after five-set victory

On Friday, Zverev gave Germany a 1-0 lead with a 7-5 4-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4) win over de Minaur before Kyrgios leveled for Australia with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Struff.

With Kyrgios grabbing at his elbow during the opening few games, Zverev took flight, playing sumptuous, chanceless tennis to send his nation through to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win in 108 minutes.

The German battled hard but he was a class below the Australian and succumbed in 97 minutes in front of a large and passionate crowd at the Pat Rafter Arena.

The image of Nick Kyrgios this summer has been that of a maturing young star; increasingly personable, upbeat and better able to handle the demands placed on a professional tennis player of his rank and profile. Alex de Minaur's performance in a five-set loss to Zverev was heartening, although he tore an abdominal muscle in the process.

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Croatia mounted a superb comeback in their tie against Canada, with world No. 3 Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodlig roaring back from two sets down to eke out a 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil for a 2-1 lead.

But Zverev fought back to win the fourth set before recovering from an early break in the fifth to force a tiebreak.

"Everyone expects him to take care of these matches".

Asked if he thought Kyrgios had been affected by expectation to win at home, Kohlmann said: "Of course".

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Masur said de Minaur and his Spanish coach Adolfo Gutierrez had chose to return to Challenger level for one or two tournaments but the energetic right-hander was clearly playing better than his world ranking of No.139 and would do well with more ATP tournament qualifying experience.

"He's a big guy, a top 10 player and in the decisive moments he was able to come up with a couple of free points".

On paper, Japan always looked likely to struggle without talisman Kei Nishikori, who is just returning from a wrist injury that had sidelined him for five months. I'm going to take a week off now to try and get it better. But he almost caused a huge upset when he took a two-sets-to-one lead, clinching the third set with an ace. But it was 30-year-old journeyman Puetz - in just his second Cup tie - who stood tall, thrashing forehand victor after forehand victor as Germany prevailed in a rubber lasting nearly four hours.

The second match pitted world number 41 Yuichi Sugita against veteran Andreas Seppi, now ranked 78, in what turned out to be a thrilling rollercoaster of a match.

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