Australia's Davis Cup tennis team, from left to right, captain Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Sam Groth, John Peers and Bernard Tomic pose for a photo in front of the Harbour Bridge before the official draw for the Davis Cup World Group playoff against Slovakia in Sydney Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Australia and Slovakia will go head to head in the Davis Cup in Sydney, Sept. 16-18. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
SYDNEY (AP) Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic had straight-set singles victories over their Slovakian opponents Friday to give Australia a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup World Group playoff.
Kyrgios, Australia's No. 1 player, opened with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Andrej Martin. Tomic beat Jozef Kovalik 7-6 (5) 6-4, 6-4.
Sam Groth and John Peers will try to clinch the tie for Australia on Saturday when they play the Slovakian doubles team of Martin and Igor Zelenay.
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The winner of the weekend matches on a grass court laid over the regular hardcourt at Sydney's Olympic park will compete in the 16-team World Group in 2017.
Slovakia is playing without its two top-ranked singles players – No.31 Martin Klizan and No.102 Lukas Lacko – due to injuries.
Australia has won the Davis Cup 28 times – second only to the United States' 32 – but hasn't captured the trophy since 2003, Australia's longest drought since before World War II. Australia lost to the U.S. in the World Group's first round this year.