A dynamic Nick Kyrgios and dogged Alex de Minaur powered Australia into the ATP Cup semifinals Thursday with an epic 2-1 win against the Tim Henman-led Britain, and they were joined by Russia who overpowered Argentina.
The home team clinched the tie after an 18-16 third-set tiebreaker in the doubles to set up a potential blockbuster last-four clash against Rafael Nadal’s Davis Cup-winning Spain who face Belgium on Friday.
Russia, spearheaded by world No 5 Daniil Medvedev won both their singles to sweep past Argentina.
Their reward is a semifinal against either Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, or Canada.
Kyrgios crushed Cameron Norrie in the opening singles 6-2, 6-2 before Dan Evans came through a memorable showdown against De Minaur 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) to set up the decisive, winner-takes-all doubles.
Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt took a huge gamble by dropping regular doubles pair John Peers and Chris Guccione in favour of Kyrgios and de Minaur, and it looked a poor decision when they lost the first set 6-3.
But, spurred by Kyrgios’ booming serve, they took the next 6-3 before a nailbiting tiebreaker that lasted more than half-an-hour.
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Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury had four match points, which were all saved, with Australia finally converting on their fifth match point, sparking jubilant scenes.
“That was incredible tennis. All three matches today everyone gave 100 percent and left it all out on the court,” said Hewitt.
“Really proud of the boys, the way they were able to turn it around… it could have gone either way.”