Melbourne: Nick Kyrgios conceded just seven games in powering Australia to a 2-0 rubber lead over the Czech Republic after the first day of the Davis Cup World Group tie in Melbourne on Friday.
The controversial world number 15 took just 95 minutes to reel off a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over the 157th-ranked Jan Satral and consolidate Australia's grip on the tie on hardcourt at Kooyong.
Rookie Jordan Thompson upset Czech number one Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the opening singles match in two hours and six minutes.
Thompson, 22 and ranked 65, made surprisingly light work of the 54th-ranked Vesely to sink the Czech Republic's hopes of splitting the opening day singles.
Kyrgios, who was fined US$5,500 for swearing and throwing his racquet after a stormy second round exit to Andreas Seppi at last month's Australian Open, showed no signs of such volatile behaviour under the watchful eye of Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt.
His big-hitting game overwhelmed the hapless Satral although he needed six match points to finally put away the Czech.
Kyrgios won just his third live Davis Cup rubber for Australia following earlier victories in World Group play-off ties against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in 2014 and Andrej Martin in 2016.
He improved his record to 5-3 in singles rubbers against Satral, who was making his Davis Cup debut.
Thompson was handed his debut by captain Hewitt after the 27th-ranked Bernard Tomic made himself unavailable, citing scheduling issues, while Vesely took over as the top-ranked Czech player following the unavailability of world number ten Tomas Berdych.
The young Australian began well with a break in the opening game and had few problems with the shaky Czech left-hander making five service breaks.
"It's the biggest moment in my career, the summer has been pretty good, but playing for your country is amazing and getting us off to a 1-0 lead is even better," Thompson said.
"There were some nerves at the start, but I was just glad the balls were coming off the racquet nicely."
Vesely said ahead of the clash: "It's something new for me, I've never started a tie before so it's definitely a new experience for me."
It is the eighth meeting in Davis Cup for the two nations with Australia leading 7-1. Australia won their last meeting 3-2 at the same stage two years ago in Ostrava.
Australia lost in the first round last year, but defeated Slovakia in a play-off to maintain their World Group status, while Czech Republic reached last year's quarter-finals but fell to France.
Published Date: Feb 03, 2017 11:04 AM | Updated Date: Feb 03, 2017 11:04 AM