Aussies miss Davis Cup final in heartbreakers

Kyrgios shrugged off his grand slam travails to beat Steve Darcis 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 6-2 and restore parity after John Millman's earlier defeat to David Goffin.

John Millman had been expected to play the final singles match for Australia, but captain Lleyton Hewitt opted for Thompson, unbeaten in his three Davis Cup rubbers in his career.

NICK Kyrgios staged a gutsy comeback to keep Australia's Davis Cup hopes alive in Brussels, seeing off a determined Belgian veteran Steve Darcis in a five-set thriller.

Dusan Lajovic is a tennis player who cannot afford serious resistance to an opponent who surpasses him in the class. Kyrgios played Jan Satral and won comfortably as you'd expect to help Australia move on to the quarterfinals, where they faced the United States.

'He served unbelievably well today.

Australia, the 28-time Davis Cup champions, travel to Brussels to take on Belgium, who are yet to win a Davis Cup title, although they were finalists in 2015.

"It would have been extremely hard to play five sets", Lajovic said.

The 5-foot-11 Belgian served 70 percent, pumped 20 aces, did not double fault and denied seven of eight break points fighting past the explosive Kyrgios. "We were pretty good mates when I was younger", he said.

"I thought I started the match really well, I had a couple of opportunities early and could have been up three or four love up", he said. "When he's playing at that level, he's one of the best in the world".

Kyrgios is a huge fan of the team aspect of the Davis Cup and said Hewitt had built a great team spirit within the group. In the final, France will go for its 10th Davis Cup crown against Belgium.

But Goffin, who has only tasted defeat to Andy Murray in a singles rubber since 2014, responded magnificently, nailing his first break point of the match in the opening game of the second set.

Yannick Noah´s hosts went into the day needing just one victory from the final two singles rubbers to take an unassailable 3-1 lead against an understrength Serbia, who were missing Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.

However, France, the nine-time champions, leveled the tie when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga downed Davis Cup debutant and world No. 95 Laslo Djere, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-3.

Goffin, whose knee injury at the U.S. Open in August initially put his semi-final appearance in doubt, quickly found his way back, however, converting backhand service returns into winners and eventually frustrating the unpredictable Kyrgios.

  • Salvatore Jensen