Australia’s Davis Cup title hopes are on the verge of collapse with Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios losing their opening singles matches on a day of high drama.
Kokkinakis lost 6-4 6-3 6-3 to Mikhail Kukushkin in just over two hours on Friday, before Kyrgios fell 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to world No.115 Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
At 2-0 down, Australia must win Saturday’s doubles encounter just to keep the tie alive.
The disappointing on-court results capped a forgettable day for Australian tennis after Bernard Tomic was arrested in America overnight.
Tomic was taken into custody after failing to follow police orders to leave his $A7000-a-night penthouse at the W Hotel following a night of loud partying.
“Obviously that’s the first thing that came up on my Facebook when I had a scroll. I saw about eight mug shots of him,” Kokkinakis said after his straight-sets defeat.
“We’re trying to block it out. It didn’t seem too bad.
“We’re just trying to do our own thing. We’ve got the tie, which I tried to focus on.
“Obviously you don’t want to have that sort of issue happen very often. It’s not great for anyone.
“But I still feel confident us boys can get it done.”
Tomic should have been with the Davis Cup team in Darwin.
But he was overlooked for selection following his outburst against Tennis Australia’s hierarchy at Wimbledon.
With Tomic unavailable, Kokkinakis was handed responsibility for opening the tie against Kazakhstan’s top-ranked player.
Kokkinakis looked nervous early, before making a brief fightback in the second set.
But with his first serve abandoning him, the 19-year-old struggled to keep pace throughout the contest.
“I wasn’t able to find my game. And when I found it in the second set, I got broken straight back, which killed me,” Kokkinakis said.
“I didn’t find my rhythm today.
“I’m taking it pretty hard at the moment. I’m pretty disappointed.”