Australians are wondering why Lleyton Hewitt did not pick Nick Kyrgios to play the first tie of the Davis Cup clash against Canada in the quarter-final.
Mystery surrounded the late scratching of the in-form Kyrgios, with Tennis Australia officials merely saying the 24-year-old had not been nominated.
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Millman started well against the huge-serving Canadian Vasek Pospisil, breaking his serve in only the second game of the match.
However, the 29-year-old broke back to level the set at 4-4 and then saved two set points to take a tense tiebreak.
Millman struggled to deal with the Pospisil's power game in the second set and while he gamely hung in the set, he was unable to hold serve at 5-4 down and the Canadian forced an error to seal victory.
Fans on social media couldn’t work out why Kyrgios was absent, despite showing his patriotic colours and cheering the team on from the sideline.
I'm surprised. Nick Kyrgios is not playing the first singles, only reason given is he was not nominated. John Millman takes his place and will play Vasek Pospisil. Australia is playing Canada in the quarters.— Craig Gabriel (@crosscourt1) November 21, 2019
Fine late-season run for Vasek Pospisil, who saves two set points in first set & gives Canada a 1-0 lead in this Davis Cup quarterfinal with 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over John Millman of Australia. Nick Kyrgios, apparently injured, watched & cheered courtside. Shapovalov v De Minaur next— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) November 21, 2019
Millman has been a spectator for the first two ties of the tournament but it was announced just an hour before the start of match he would replace Kyrgios.
The world No.30 had been in superb touch in the opening two singles rubbers against Colombia and Belgium, hurling down 38 aces in just four sets and looking fully focused in both matches.
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Alex de Minaur must now beat fellow young gun Denis Shapovalov to keep his country in the tournament in a mouth-watering clash between the two outstanding 20-year-olds.
The match is a repeat of the 2016 junior Wimbledon final which world No.15 Shapovalov won in three sets at the All England.