Tennis: Thanasi Kokkinakis stuns Czech No.1 to give Australia Davis Cup edge

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AFP) - Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis stunned the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group first round tie in Ostrava on Friday.

The 18-year-old world number 133 beat 31st-ranked Czech number one player Rosol 4-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 in three-and-a-half hours.

Rosol relied on his forehand throughout the first two sets to convert all four break points.

But instead of finishing off the game in less than two hours, the 29-year-old Czech lost his way and nerve and let Kokkinakis capitalise on a late break in both the third and fourth sets.

Kokkinakis let Rosol break him once more in the fifth set but then won four straight games for a 6-3 win.

Kokkinakis was a surprise pick by Australia's interim captain Wally Masur who overlooked veteran star Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth for Friday's singles.

Australia Bernard Tomic, the world number 38, will now take on 45th-ranked Jiri Vesely in Friday's second singles.

In Saturday's doubles, Jan Mertl and Adam Pavlasek face Groth and Hewitt, but the Czech team are almost certain to change the lineup.

Both teams are without their top players as Czech number one Tomas Berdych has decided to skip the tie to focus on his singles career while teammate Radek Stepanek and Australia's Nick Kyrgios are injured.

The Czechs won the Davis Cup in 2012 and 2013 in addition to a 1980 win by former Czechoslovakia.

Australia have won the trophy 28 times - second only behind the United States with 32 wins - but their last title dates back to 2003.

The winner of this tie will play either Italy or Kazakhstan in July.

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