Tennis player Nick Kyrgios, 24, defeated Steve Darcis to help Australia take a 1-0 lead against Team Belgium.
He managed to shoot off a host of aces in the second-set tie break and stole a win that put Australia in the lead.
Before the match he shot back at criticism of having multiple team tournaments, with claims that the Davis Cup, Laver Cup and the new ATP Cup are key to the survival of tennis. Kyrgios said that the four gland slams will be the pinnacle of tennis but a plethora of tournaments around the world were keeping the game alive.
“There has to be more events like the Laver Cup where there is 17,000 watching and there is more viewers than during a gland slam,” he said.
His comments come a bitter stand-off between the ATP and ITF over the Davis Cup, currently being played in Madrid.
The announcement of the ATP’s new-look event by Gerard Pique’s Kosmos Group strengthened the feud.
Plans were revealed for this January’s ATP Cup with games in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney which sees 24 teams compete for ranking points and prize money worth $21.5 million.
The event will be a precursor to the Australian Open which kicks off from 20 January following the Davis Cup.
Kyrgios supports team competitions, that he believes tennis desperately needs in order to maintain its relevance outside the four gland slams.
Speaking to AAP he said that “moving forward is the only way the sport has to go.”
“You look at the best sports in the world from an entertainment purpose they are killing tennis,” he said
“That is why the ATP and the ITF are trying to create more events because if they continue to go down the path they are right now the sport will die out.
“You look at the Laver Cup, you had 17,000 people cheering every night and being here in Madrid it’s great.
“I just love being with this Australia team. TV viewers like it and I think people want to see more of it. It needs to happen more to move the sport on.”
He added that “sport is entertainment at the end of the day and if no-one is watching then tennis will die out.”