BRISBANE, Australia — Nick Kyrgios leveled Australia’s World Group first-round match against Germany on Friday with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Jan-Lennard Struff.
Two aces and a winner gave Kyrgios, Australia’s No. 1 player, the win over Struff in 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Earlier, Alexander Zverev clinched the final two points of the match with service winners to give him a 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Alex de Minaur on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena.
The 18-year-old de Minaur, ranked 139th, was making his Davis Cup debut. But he nearly caused a huge upset when he took a two-sets-to-one lead, clinching the third set with an ace.
But the fifth-ranked Zverev came back to take the fourth set, then dominated the tiebreaker to clinch the match in just under four hours.
De Minaur had been Australia’s form player of the past month, making the Sydney International final and the Brisbane International semifinals in early January. In both tournaments, he was cheered on by Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt.
“Credit to him. He’s playing unbelievable tennis for an 18-year-old and if he keeps on improving he’ll be great,” Zverev said of de Minaur.
Australia’s Matt Ebden and John Peers are scheduled to play doubles on Saturday against Tim Puetz and Peter Gojowczyk. The reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.
The winning country advances to the quarterfinals from April 6-8 against either Britain or Spain. The loser will contest September’s World Cup playoffs.
Australia, looking to end a 15-year Davis Cup title drought, has reached the World Group semifinals twice in the past three years.