By Martyn Herman
MADRID (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios returned from a two-month break to launch Australia’s Davis Cup challenge on Tuesday and believes they can win the trophy for the first time since 2003.
Playing his first match since September because of a shoulder problem, the 24-year-old eased to a 6-4 6-4 victory over Colombia’s lowly-ranked Alejandro Gonzalez.
Australia’s number one Alex de Minaur, 20, then gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead with a 6-4 6-3 win over Daniel Galan before the later doubles rubber.
Lleyton Hewitt’s side will play a tough Belgium side in their second Group D match on Wednesday when victory would put them through to the quarter-finals.
“I think we can win it for sure,” said Kyrgios, who resisted any of his trademark theatrics as he banged down 16 aces, after his straightforward win at Madrid’s La Caja Magica, the venue for the revamped Davis Cup finals featuring 18 nations.
“The way Alex is playing, and I know I can beat every single person in this competition and we’ve got great doubles players, John Peers, Jordan (Thompson) can play singles and doubles.
“We’ve got great energy guys like John Millman, we’ve got good depth.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)