Davis Cup 2018: Australia vs Germany evenly poised after Day 1

By @saihoops on
2018 Australian Open live streaming, Nick Kyrgios vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga live streaming
Tennis - Australian Open - Hisense Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 17, 2018. Nick Kyrgios of Australia signs autographs after winning against Viktor Troicki of Serbia. Reuters /Thomas Peter

 World No. 14 Nick Kyrgios helped Australia draw level against Germany on Friday in their 2018 Davis Cup clash at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane. In the second singles rubber of Day 1, Kyrgios eased past German World No. 2 Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Earlier in the day, World No. 5 Alexander Zverev was pushed to a fifth-set tiebreaker by Aussie teenager Alex de Minaur. After the 18-year-old de Minaur claimed two sets to one lead with a break point in the fourth, Zverev came storming back to close out the fourth set 6-3 before winning a hard-fought decider in the fifth. After Zverev gave Germany a 1-0 lead, Kyrgios made quick work of Struff to give the Aussies an all-square ledger. 

Kyrgios has continued to respond well to Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt, a year after an impressive showing for his nation at the 2017 Davis Cup. Kyrgios, coming off a fourth-round exit at the 2018 Australian Open, put on a service game clinic against Struff. "He's a tough opponent to play against, he doesn't really give you any rhythm so I thought I did a good job of getting it done pretty quickly and giving myself the best chance to recover," said the Canberran who showed flashes of a future Grand Slam winner at Melbourne Park. 

Meanwhile, de Minaur earned Zverev's respect after the teenager pushed the German World no. 1 to a four-hour marathon. At one stage, Zverev looked overwhelmed by de Minaur's attacking instincts and powerful service game. However, the German kept his poise and picked up his intensity in the fifth set.

"I was more aggressive than him from the baseline (in the final set). I think over five sets the one who is more aggressive probably wins. The other one might tire a little bit and get a bit slower," Zverev said, via AFP.

2018 Davis Cup schedule

The 2018 Davis Cup tie (Australia vs Germany) will continue Saturday (2 p.m. AEDT) with a doubles contest pitting Matthew Ebden and John Peers (Australia) against Peter Gojowczyk and Tim Puetz (Germany). It will be a crucial tie ahead of the headlining reverse singles clash between Kyrgios and Zverev on Sunday. If necessary, there will be another singles match between Jan-Lennard Struff and Alex de Minaur on Sunday.