Nick Kyrgios has described Australia's dramatic doubles victory over Great Britain in the ATP Cup as one of the best moments of his career.
With the tie poised at 1-1, Kyrgios teamed up with Alex De Minaur to score a thrilling 3-6 6-3 18-16 victory over the British pair of Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury and push the home nation into the last four of the inaugural ATP Cup.
Kyrgios had eased past British No. 2, Cameron Norrie in the day’s opening rubber, winning 6-2 6-2 to maintain his unblemished record in the competition, but Great Britain levelled the tie when Daniel Evans pulled off an epic 7-6 4-6 7-6 victory over De Minaur after three hours and 24 minutes to force the quarter final into a deciding doubles rubber.
Doubles experts, John Peers and Chris Guccione had played in all of Australia’s three group matches, winning all of their matches, but Australian captain, Lleyton Hewitt sprang a bit of a surprise by naming his singles guns, De Minaur and Kyrgios as his doubles combination. The decision paid off in the end, but only just!
?? #TeamAustralia = first into the semifinals!@alexdeminaur/@NickKyrgios put on a gusty performance to outlast Murray/Salisbury 3-6 6-3 [18-16] and punch the final four ticket.#ATPCup | #Final8 | #GBRAUS pic.twitter.com/d7doEkPswn
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) January 9, 2020
There were nine match points between teams, with Great Britain missing four and Australia converting on their fifth opportunity to win the match.
The drama carried on right till the very end, with the Brits reviewing a Kyrgios serve on match point that was called in. Once hawk-eye confirmed that the serve was in, both Kyrgios and De Minaur collapsed into a cuddle on the court, before Kyrgios lifted his partner in his shoulder in one of the great moments of the 2020 ATP Cup.
“It was unreal. The adrenaline has kind of worn off and I’m exhausted after that match. It was awesome,” Kyrgios said. “Today was probably one of the best moments in my career, definitely. Just making it through to the semi-final, the first-ever ATP Cup in that type of fashion, was pretty special… we genuinely care for each other, and [our teammates] were genuinely just so ecstatic to get through.”
Kyrgios might have been the star of the show, but credit must also go to De Minaur, who showed great courage in getting back out for the doubles rubber following his agonizing loss to Evans in the preceding singles matches.
“I’m going to do anything for the team. I knew that if I was going to step out on the doubles court, then I was going to make sure that I was going to be fired up, ready to go, and full of energy,” De Minaur said.
The Australians have been outstanding in this tournament, going 3-0 in their group matches, winning all nine rubbers, before battling past the Brits in Thursday’s quarter-finals.
Next up for the Aussies is a semi-final against either Spain or Belgium.