Tennis

US armed with game’s most lethal weapon

Kyrgios prepares for USA1:36

Tennis: Nick Kyrgios claims he has never been in a better mental space. The young Australian is preparing to spearhead a Davis Cup tie against the US in Brisbane.

John Isner smashed an incredible 1159 aces in 2016.

Paul MaloneThe Courier-Mail

HE comes to the Davis Cup quarter-final armed with statistically the most lethal serve in tennis and a winning head-to-head record against Nick Kyrgios.

John Isner’s 1159 aces last year was the highest total of aces by any player on the ATP Tour and he tied with Ivo Karlovic for the highest percentage of first-serve points (82 per cent).

Captains Lleyton Hewitt or Jim Courier will not disclose their singles players for Friday’s first two matches before Thursday’s draw.

John Isner eyes off Nick Kyrgios. Picture: Mark Calleja

John Isner eyes off Nick Kyrgios. Picture: Mark CallejaSource:News Corp Australia

If they stay with their incumbent singles players for Friday, Kyrgios would meet American No.2 Isner and Jack Sock against Australian Jordan Thompson.

FRACTURED: Kyrgios-Tomic relationship burning out?

The third-ranked American Sam Querrey is also in the mix for singles duty after last month lowering Kyrgios’ colours in winning a tournament in Mexico in which he took three top-20 scalps, including Rafael Nadal.

The 204cm Isner has a 2-1 career record against Kyrgios, having beaten him twice in 2015.

Kyrgios, who ranked fifth in the 2016 ace count with 732 from three matches more than Isner played, won their most recent encounter, in the final in Atlanta last year.

Kyrgios was absent from Australia’s Davis Cup loss to the US earlier last year when Isner beat Sam Groth and Bernard Tomic.

John Isner smashed an incredible 1159 aces in 2016.

John Isner smashed an incredible 1159 aces in 2016.Source:AP

“Last year was a different team for us, different for them,’’ said Isner, ranked No.23.

“This tie is brand new. If I’m called upon to play, singles, doubles, whatever, I’ll be ready to give it my all.’’

Querrey won one match in his subsequent two tournaments after his Mexican triumph, but at the least gives American captain Jim Courier choices for his singles selections.

“Form, health, all those things matter in selections,’’ Courier said.

“We know Nick is coming in on a high note and Jordan had a good Aussie summer and they have some momentum in the doubles.’’

Originally published as US armed with game’s most lethal weapon

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