Australia has kicked off its 2022 Davis Cup Finals campaign in fine form, claiming a 3-0 demolition win over Belgium in Hamburg on Tuesday.
29-year-old Queenslander Jason Kubler was called up to make his Davis Cup debut and opened the tie for Australia with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Belgian youngster Zizou Bergs.
Kubler got off to the perfect start, claiming the first set 6-4 in a tight battle.
Following the first set, it was Bergs who took control of the match - winning nine out of the next 11 games to take the second set 6-1, and race away to a 3-1 lead in the decider.
But Kubler channelled his inner Aussie spirit to break back and end the match by winning five games on the trot - securing a 1-0 lead for the Green and Gold.
“As soon as you find out you’re playing, the nerves come because you know how important these matches are playing for your country," Kubler said in his post-match interview.
“But as soon as I went out there, it became a bit easier because I’m playing a match and I do that all the time. At times my back was against the wall, but I showed Australian spirit and I’m so happy. Hopefully there are many more Davis Cup experiences to come.”
“Hopefully I have many more Davis Cup ties to play but that was a very special way to start my Davis Cup career,” Kubler said.
Alex de Minaur took to the court following Kubler and sealed the tie for Australia with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 win over David Goffin in just 65 minutes.
But de Minaur spoke very little of his own performance, rather heaping the praise on his teammate who kicked off the tie with a win.
“I am over the moon that I was able to deliver today, but we may not have been in this position if it were not for Jason Kubler, who came out on his debut and pulled a rabbit out of the hat," de Minaur said in his post-match interview.
“He played with passion and pride and showed everything that Davis Cup is about. He got the win which gave us a 1-0 lead, which I thought was huge.”
“I went out there and got the job done, which is what the team expects of me,” de Minaur said.
“We have five players out here who have each other’s backs and who are constantly pumping each other up. We also have a huge team around us with great coaches."
In the final match of the day, Wimbledon Champions - 'The M&M's' - Matthew Ebden and Davis Cup debutant Max Purcell claimed a fantastic 6-1, 6-3 win over Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in just 64 minutes to complete a perfect 3-0 swoop for Australia.
“We started well and then we ran with it,” Ebden said post-match. “We couldn’t ask for a better start.”
“No Davis Cup match is ever easy, especially your first one. Max today and also Kubes, kicking it off today he got us off to the right start,” team captain Lleyton Hewitt said post-match.