Peers injury sours Aust Davis Cup progress

Ian McCullough
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Ten Davis Aust

Alex de Minaur booked Australia's spot in the Davis Cup quarter-finals with a win over David Goffin

Australia's progression to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup has been tempered by an injury to doubles specialist John Peers.

Wins for Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur over Belgians Steve Darcis and David Goffin respectively set up a last-eight clash with Canada.

However, Peers and Jordan Thompson's doubles rubber was abandoned after just one game.

After taking a 1-0 lead against Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, Peers appeared in discomfort and after approaching captain Lleyton Hewitt, who was keen to take no chances, Belgium were awarded the win.

"Peersy just was feeling his elbow a little bit and, for me, it was an easy decision because I'm not risking him before we have a quarter-final match tomorrow," Hewitt said.

"He'll be getting treatment tonight and icing it. Hopefully it pulls up well for tomorrow night."

Peers, who is one of the top doubles players in the world, admitted he was worried by the issue but hopeful he can to be fit to face a talented Canadian team that beat the USA and Italy to win Group F.

"I am a little bit, (worried) but I'll rest up, try and get as much work into it as I can tonight and see if we can get up for tomorrow," Peers said.

The tie against Canada takes place on Thursday (Friday 0400 AEDT) on centre court at the Caja Magica in what will be Australia's third successive late night finish.

Hewitt said the scheduling has been far from ideal and with Canada having an extra day's rest, his team has it all to do against a side containing world No.15 Denis Shapovalov, an in-form Vasek Pospisil and teenage sensation Felix Auger Aliassime.

"There's not a lot we can do, really," Hewitt said.

"We just got to do the same as last night. The boys just have to do all the right things - food, treatment, get enough sleep as well.

"At least they're on a night schedule, they should be used to it."

De Minaur reinforced his reputation as one of the most exciting young players in world tennis, beating world No.11 Goffin.

The 20-year-old Sydneysider prevailed 6-0 7-6 (8-6) to seal Australia's first victory over Belgium since 1991 and avenge the World Group semi-final defeat in Brussels two years ago.

In the opening match of the tie, Kyrgios saw off the gutsy Darcis 6-2 7-6 (10-8) in a thrilling encounter.

Kyrgios largely kept his emotions in check to see off the wily 35-year-old who has been Australia's nemesis in two previous Davis Cup encounters.

After Kyrgios powered through the opening set in 24 minutes, Darcis fought back in a high-quality second set in front of a noisy crowd dominated by Belgian fans.

Once again Kyrgios held his serve throughout, hurling down 22 aces - including an incredible eight of his final 10 deliveries to win the match.

"We all wanted to go out there today and bring the energy," Kyrgios said.

"Alex is playing unbelievable, I'm playing well, I'm serving well. That's usually one part of my game that is always pretty consistent.

"But I'm just happy we got through.

"I don't really care about my serving stats or anything. I just wanted to get the win."