US, Australia share Friday spoils

Australia and America were tied 1-1 after Friday’s singles matches in their first-round World Group Davis Cup match taking place in Kooyong.

In the opening match of the day, John Isner took one hour and 52 minutes to give the US the lead with a 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2 win over Sam Groth on the grass courts of the Melbourne suburb.

Isner was always in control and during the first set, even though there were no breaks of serve up until the tiebreaker, he convincingly won it 7-2 to take the set.

Thereafter he cruised breaking Groth’s serve twice in each set to run out a comfortable winner and hand his country the 1-0 lead in the tie.

“I played a great tiebreaker and had a lot of momentum from that point forward,” Isner said after his win.

In the second match, Australia got on level terms when Bernard Tomic defeated American Jack Sock 7-6 (2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 26 minutes.

Things went with serve in a close first set up until a tiebreak and, in the end, two mini-breaks gave Tomic the set 7-2.

In the second set things went with serve until Tomic broke serve to lead 4-3 and he broke again in the 9th game, despite Sock saving four sets points, to win the set 6-3.

Sock got back into the match by winning the third set after breaking Tomic’s serve twice, in the third and ninth games, to claim the set 6-3.

In the fourth set, Tomic broke Sock’s service in the ninth game and then won four consecutive points to clinch the match and put his country level in the tie at 1-1.

“Bernie stepped up when we needed him to,” Australian playing captain Lleyton Hewitt said. “We knew the Americans were going to be tough.”