Davis Cup helps Kyrgios 'find the love again'
Getting back into the team environment has once again re-energised Nick Kyrgios ahead of Australia’s Davis Cup semi-final against Belgium.
The Australian team of Kyrgios, Jordan Thompson, Thanasi Kokkinakis and John Peers is in Brussels to take on Belgium, led by world number 12 David Goffin.
A win in the tie would send Australia to the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2003, when Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs beat Spain to the title.
Kyrgios, Australia’s highest-ranked player at number 20 in the world, said this year was Australia’s best chance to get back on top “in a long, long time”.
“Just thinking about it brings me so much excitement,” he said.
“I put it as my top priority to be healthy, to fight and get some really good results in Davis Cup.
“I just want to share it with the guys, I want to share the victory.”
A rabid NBA fan, Kyrgios said getting into camp and building chemistry with the squad gave him the pleasure of playing for someone other than himself.
With tennis so often an individual — perhaps even lonely — sport, the team and captain Lleyton Hewitt have rejuvenated Kyrgios, who has struggled with injury and other off-field issues this year.
“[Hewitt has] been unbelievable support for me,” Kyrgios said.
“There have been times where I haven’t been doing too well mentally and he’s always been there.
“Davis Cup’s done wonders for me this year — it’s really made me find that love again for being with the guys and just having some fun and knowing that tennis isn’t all bad, you can have some fun with it.”
The singles stars for their respective teams will be Kyrgios and Goffin, who have met three times for three wins to the Australian.
They last clashed at the Cincinnati Masters in August — a 6-2,6-3 win for Kyrgios — but all their previous matches have been on hard courts, while the weekend’s tie is being played on clay at the Town Hall of Brussels.
“I think clay may suit his game a little bit more, but I’m confident,” he said.
“I’ve had some great wins on clay courts and like playing on it a lot. I am ready.”
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