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Djokovic, Kyrgios clash looms

PARIS (AFP) – Crowd pullers Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios closed in on a mouthwatering Davis Cup final duel on Sunday but France and Belgium cast themselves in the role of party-poopers.

World number two Djokovic and his 2010 Davis Cup champions Serbia team had already booked their place in September’s semi-final against nine-time winners France by beating Spain who were hamstrung by the absence of Rafael Nadal.

But firebrand Kyrgios needed to seal the deal for Australia on Sunday, securing the winning point in the first of the reverse singles to defeat 32-time champions United States.

That gave Australia a semi-final trip to Belgium who also had to wait until Sunday to wrap up a second last-four date in three years by seeing off Italy, the conquerors of defending champions Argentina in the first round.

Kyrgios’s 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-4 win over Sam Querrey gave the Australians an unassailable 3-1 in Brisbane.

The controversial 21-year-old Kyrgios revealed that Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt had asked him to be the team’s leader and he had been happy to accept the challenge.

“I’m playing better, but I’m just in a happier place,’’ said the world number 16.