Thiem, Novak win to give Austria 2-0 lead over Australia

GRAZ, Austria (AP) — Dennis Novak upset Alex de Minaur 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 to give Austria a 2-0 lead over Australia in a Davis Cup World Group playoff on Friday.

In front of a crowd of 6,000, the 133rd-ranked Austrian broke De Minaur’s serve nine times and closed out the win on his second match point.

Playing on his beloved clay, Dominic Thiem gave Austria an early lead as he routed Jordan Thompson 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

Thompson played instead of U.S. Open quarterfinalist John Millman, though Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt could play him on Sunday if the tie is still alive.

Australia is without its best-ranked player, Nick Kyrgios.

The winner of the tie will be seeded for the qualifying round of the revamped Davis Cup in February.