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Zverev beats Kyrgios to send Germany into last eight of Davis Cup
Germany advanced to the last eight of the Davis Cup on Sunday after Alexander Zverev beat Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in straight sets to give his country a 3-1 lead in the best of five series. Zverev won 6-2, 7-6, 6-2 in one hour and 48 minutes.
"To win against a very strong Australian team makes us very confident for the next round and for the upcoming years," German captain Michael Kohlmann said. "We showed we have a lot of good players. We showed that we are able to go further than this."
Zverev, the world number five, only faced two break points in the match, both at the end of the second set and both of which he saved.
He also returned well, getting many of Kyrgios's thunderbolts back in play and then winning the battle from the back of the court.
"It's awesome. It's an amazing feeling and without my teammates it wouldn't have been possible," Zverev said. "Obviously we're happy but hopefully this is just the beginning for us."
Kyrgios, the world number 14, went into the match full of expectation after an impressive win over Jan-Lennard Struff in Friday's opening singles. Zverev, on the other hand, had looked out of sorts in his opening match where he was pushed for almost four hours before seeing off 18-year-old Alex de Minaur, ranked 139 in the world, in five sets.
But following Germany's victory in the doubles match on Saturday to give them a 2-1 lead, all the pressure was on Kyrgios, who had to win to keep the tie alive.
The mercurial Australian opened brilliantly, holding his serve to love much to the delight of the boisterous home crowd at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.
But that was followed by a slump in which Kyrgios lost two of his next three service games to surrender the opening set in 23 minutes.
Kyrgios appeared troubled by an elbow problem in the first set and it became more noticeable in the second, the Australian often shaking his right arm between points.
He served better in the second set, firing down eight aces, but at 4-3 he had a medical timeout for treatment on his arm.
The Australian continued to serve well and had two set points on Zverev's serve at 6-5, but the German saved both then played a superb tiebreak to take a stranglehold on the rubber.
Once Zverev broke to go ahead 3-1 the result was never really in doubt and at 2-5, Kyrgios was broken again to give the tie to Germany who will play Spain in the quarter-finals after they beat Great Britain in Marbella.
Kyrgios said he felt a problem with his elbow after Friday's match. "It obviously affected me a lot," he said.
"My serve is my biggest strength. I thought he played great but my serve was not really there and that affects the rest of my game.
"It's tough to go out there and not be able to put in your best performance."