Hewitt confident Kyrgios can deliver
Lleyton Hewitt has strong faith in Nick Kyrgios ahead of the reverse singles rubber with David Goffin in the Davis Cup semifinal.
Lleyton Hewitt has backed Nick Kyrgios to get the job done for Australia in his Davis Cup reverse singles rubber against Belgian No.1 David Goffin.
Kyrgios has never lost to the world No.12 in their three previous encounters.
The pressure is on Goffin to break that duck after John Peers and Jordan Thompson’s straight sets doubles win on Saturday gave Australia a 2-1 lead and put Australia on the brink of a first final in 14 years.
Victory for Kyrgios would set up a home decider in November against either Serbia or France.
Two-time Grand Slam champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-1 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in Lille on Saturday to give France a 2-1 lead over Serbia.
Should he lose, all attentions will switch to John Millman to get his country over the line against world No.77 Steve Darcis – who beat Carsten Ball in a similar situation seven years ago in a World Group playoff in Cairns.
“They are two quality players going head-to-head in what will be a tough battle for their country,” Hewitt said.
“Nick will be ready, come game time. No doubt about it.”
World No.20 Kyrgios said he was looking forward to facing Goffin and believes he is serving as well as he has all year after hurling down 34 aces against Darcis in Friday’s five set success.
“It’s going to be tough, but he’s got to make some adjustments,” Kyrgios said.
“He’s never beaten me before. He doesn’t know what that feels like.
“I am going to have that at the back of my mind. I am serving well and that is the best part of my game.
“But at the same time it’s a different match. David hardly hits any slices but it’s all about match-ups and I feel confident.”
Hewitt was part of the sides that lost to Belgium in both 2007 and 2010 but said there are no lingering memories of Darcis’ memorable win for his country seven years ago.
“Hopefully it will be a different result, but there is a lot more on the line today than then.
“Both of their players are tricky customers. I have the upmost respect for them and won’t be taking them lightly.”
The former world No.1 was full of praise for Thompson and Peers who dominated their match against Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur de Greef from the start to win 6-4 6-3 6-0.
“It was very clinical, setting the tone from the word go,” he said.
“The boys were up and about early and executed their game plan brilliantly.”
Belgium captain Johan Van Herck insisted his side will fight to the bitter end to keep alive their hopes of a first ever Davis Cup title.
“We lost a battle today but not the tie,” he said.
“There are still two matches to win. Matches that we can win.”