Darcis edges Kohlschreiber to give Belgium lead over Germany
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Belgium's Steve Darcis edged Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) before Alexander Zverev struck back to pull Germany level 1-1 in in their Davis Cup first-round tie on Friday.
Zverev fired 17 aces in defeating debutant Arthur De Greef 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to ensure the tie will be decided in Sunday's reverse singles after Saturday's doubles.
Darcis, the Belgian No. 1 in the absence of David Goffin, earlier held his nerve in sets four and five as Kohlschreiber missed two break opportunities, and went on to claim his first five-set win in the Davis Cup in just under four hours.
''We need three miracles to get through this tie,'' Darcis said.
With Jan-Lennard Struff laboring with a stomach bug, Germany captain Michael Kohlmann is considering the option of pairing Zverev with older brother Mischa for the doubles against Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore. It would be the first time brothers played together for Germany in the Davis Cup.
Germany has won all eight previous matchups, most recently in 2007 with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals.