Aussies in early Davis Cup setback, Serbia level with France

Dusan Lajovic of Serbia reacts to Lucas Pouille of France during their Davis Cup semi final at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille northern France Friday Sept. 15 2017

But just who will partner the man ranked No.1 in the world, with Finland's Henri Kontinen, in Saturday's crucial doubles rubber in Brussels is unsure, with captain Lleyton Hewitt weighing up his options.

Australia and France have moved in front in their respective Davis Cup 2017 semi-finals following victories in today's doubles matches.

It is a match that could potentially take Australia to a decider against France or Serbia on home soil in November in what would be a first appearance in a final since 2003.

Tsonga got off to a slow start as world number 95 Djere held throughout the opening set, but the 2008 Australian Open runner-up served three aces to take the tiebreak easily.

"His knowledge of the doubles game is huge", he said.

In a wide-ranging piece he wrote for the newly launched Players Voice, Kyrgios offered up his opinion on Tomic's future and said "a lot has changed" since he was good friends with the 24-year-old.

Both ties conclude tomorrow with the reverse singles matches.

One player who thrives off of the Davis Cup pressure is Australia's Nick Kyrgios.

France's Lucas Pouille reacts to Dusan Lajovic of Serbia during their Davis Cup semi final at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille northern France Friday Sept.15 2017
Pouille: France not overconfident

Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates winning a game in his match against Steve Darcis of Belgium during day one of the Davis Cup World Group semifinal match in Brussels.

Over to you, Nick Kyrgios. "It's certain that we have much more of a chance".

Australia's No. 1 player nearly saw his team put on the brink of defeat going into the doubles tilt, but Kyrgios had other ideas.

The Australian, ranked 20th in the world, said: "I didn't get to spend the time with her I wanted to and tennis was the reason for that".

A huge net cord at break point down went the way of Kyrgios at the start of the decider and, perhaps sensing it was his day, the Australian showcased his talent - encapsulated with a double-handed backhand victor with both feet off the floor en route to a gutsy victory. "I literally love playing for someone other than myself for once".

"I haven't had my greatest couple of months ... but I played pretty well in Cincinnati".

Saturday's doubles action sees Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur de Greef take on Australia's John Peers and Jordan Thompson while in the other tie, the French duo of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut face Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic. Darcis is known for his terrific play at Davis Cup level and will need to continue that trend for Belgium to overcome the Australians.

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