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Hewitt so proud of battling Kyrgios

Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt hailed the fighting spirit of Nick Kyrgios after his five-set Davis Cup semi-final victory over Steve Darcis in Brussels.

Hewitt so proud of battling Kyrgios

Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt hailed the fighting spirit of Nick Kyrgios after his five-set Davis Cup semi-final victory over Steve Darcis in Brussels.

Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt hailed the fighting spirit of Nick Kyrgios after the enigmatic star's Davis Cup victory over Steve Darcis in Brussels.

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Kyrgios battled back to keep alive his nation's hopes of first final appearance in the prestigious team event in 14 years, seeing off a determined Darcis in a five-set thriller to level the tie at 1-1.


The world No.20 had to do things the hard way against the wily 33-year-old before coming out on top 6-3 3-6 6-7 (7-5) 6-1 6-2 to silence a raucous home crowd at the Palais 12 Arena.

Kyrgios said the victory was one of the most important of his career after John Millman's spirited display against David Goffin in the opening rubber proved to be in vain. The Belgian world No.12 edged the Queenslander out in four sets 6-7(7-4) 6-4 6-3 7-5.

Things looked bleak for Australia after Darcis took the third set in a tiebreak to leave the visitors staring down the barrel of 2-0 deficit ahead of the doubles rubber on Saturday.

But Hewiit used every ounce of his 18-year experience in this competition to coax his mercurial spearhead into believing he could see off Darcis - the man who relegated Australia from the World Group in a play-off decider in Townsville in 2010.

"The biggest thing for Nick was to stay in the moment," Hewitt said.

"We had to turn the momentum around which is what they had after winning the second and third sets.

"I was proud of how Nick stood up early in that fourth set. He took the ascendancy, broke straight away in the fourth.

"That shuts up the crowd and the momentum swung back our way.

"The fifth set could have gone either way, but Nick hang tough on the big points and came up clutch and we were able to sneak away with the win."

Goffin came from a set down to beat Millman in a match that lasted over three-and-a-half hours.

Hewitt made the controversial call to omit Thanasi Kokkinakis from his four-man team on Thursday to accommodate the 28-year-old Queenslander, adding he was delighted with his performance.

"I am bloody proud of John," Hewitt said.

"He did everything we asked of him and a lot more. He wasn't far away from doing some real damage. He was up a break early in the second set and if he'd held that game ... you never know.

"Goffin was able to rise to the challenge, but it was a pretty impressive debut from Johnny."

Doubles stars John Peers and Jordan Thompson are in action on Saturday (0000 AEST Sunday) when they take on Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur De Greef.

Peers is the No.2 player in the world behind Finnish playing partner Henri Kontinen.

Thompson, who beat Andy Murray just three months ago at Queens Club has never tasted defeat in three Davis Cup rubbers.

The duo played together at a tournament in Luxembourg earlier this year and Peers says the on-court chemistry between the pair will make them hard to beat.

"We've known each other for a very long time, so that makes getting down together at the same end of the court pretty easy," Peers told AAP.

"We combine well together and played together at Hertogenbosch on the grass where we got to the semis but played out some tight wins.

"That should stand us in good stead."


AAP



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