Nick Kyrgios got Australia off to a flying start in the first ATP Cup quarterfinal against Brisbane. He defeated world no. 52 Cameron Norrie 6-2, 6-2.
Next up it was the no. 1s match between Australia’s Alex de Minaur and Britain’s Dan Evans. This match was one of the best of the tournament so far.
Both players were hitting the ball cleanly from the start but it was de Minaur that took an early lead after breaking Evans in the second game after hitting a down the line winner to bring up a break point. He consolidated the break to lead 3-0.
Evans held serve then broke the Australian to get back on serve. Both players then held serve to see the first set decided in a tiebreak.
Things did not start well for de Minaur as he lost the first point after an air-swing when attempting an overhead. Evans would take the opening set after winning the tiebreak 7-4.
de Minaur again broke early in the second set to lead 2-1 and advantage that he held onto to level the match at one set all.
In the deciding third set it was Evans that won the first break of serve to lead 2-0.
de Minaur broke back at 2-4 and again the players found themselves in a tiebreak after Evans failed to convert a few match points. The Brit finally did secure the win to send the tie into a live doubles match.
In the doubles match Australia’s captain decided to pair up the singles players instead of using the doubles specialists John Peers and Chris Guccione.
The Australian’s got off to an early lead with the first break of the match however de Minaur was not able to hold serve in the first set and the Brits took the opening set 6-4.
In the second set the Australians held serve and then broke to again hold an early lead however Kyrgios was broken for the first time at 3-1 to get things back on serve.
The Australians quickly broke again this time breaking Salisbury to lead 4-2. They held serve from there to take the second set 6-3 and send the match into a super tiebreak. It would turn out to be an epic moment.
Australia took the early lead with a mini break and were looking likely to secure the win when at 8-6 de Minaur was serving. The Brits however pounced at the net to smash a winner and get things back on serve.
Kyrgios brought up the first match point when he hit a down the line winner past Salisbury. The Brits would save that and then hold their own match point at 11-10.
This was perhaps when they should have claimed victory. With de Minaur serving Murray had hit a reflex volley at Kyrgios and he scooped the ball just over the net. Murray was right on the net with the open court at his mercy, he would however lift his backhand long over the baseline to give the Aussies a reprieve.
The Aussies again held match point after a great backhand smash from Kyrgios took the score to 11-12 with Murray serving to stay alive. He handled the pressure to level the scores.
An overhead error from Salisbury gave the Australian’s another match point at 13-12 but the Brits again stayed cool. They had a match point at 14-15 with the Australians to serve.
Murray finally had a serve with match point at 16-15 but de Minaur jumped on the return to hit a down the line winner to keep the Aussies alive. A high backhand return that Kyrgios guided down the tram lines saw the Australians serving at 17-16 for the win.
Kyrgios served and Salisbury hit long but a review of the serve was called for before the win could be confirmed. The ball had landed on the service live so it was a win for the Aussies to cap off an amazing tie.
The Australians took the match 3-6, 6-3, (18-16) and await the winner of the quarterfinal between Spain and Belgium.