09 April, 2017
But the new-and-improved model of Australia's top-ranked player now chases harder, runs further and digs deeper than ever before.
The right-hander had won one match only since the February tie and also suffered an ankle injury, but has rallied when representing his country, pointing to a big tattoo on his right biceps of the Australian Olympic logo, inked after his Rio Games campaign past year.
Kyrgios had the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena in the palm of his hand as he wrestled victory from Isner, who said he felt like he would have beaten most other players in the world with his performance.
"Outside of the top five (Murray, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Federer and Nadal), I now think that Nick is the most likely to win a Slam".
Isner said: "Right now, a lot of people could argue he's playing maybe the best tennis he's ever played". I am happy to feel great on court again. It was a surprise for me, but I was practicing really well. I've never been able to be consistent.
"It's my attitude at the moment, I'm trying to knuckle down and compete for every point and that's something I haven't done in the past".
With in form Nick Kyrgios still to play on the opening day, Thompson's shock result gives Australia a good chance of reaching just their second Davis Cup semi-final since 2006.
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Australia is now one win away from advancing to the semifinals.
Australia last won the Davis Cup in 2003, when now team captain Lleyton Hewitt played as part of the Australian team that defeated Spain. Was fatigue an issue? What did he do well?
The clash went on serve until the U.S. broke to go up 3-2, then consolidated to make it 4-2.
Sock declined to say at his press conference after his loss to Thompson why he had played with such fatigue, but later on Friday told the Davis Cup website he was struggling with a cold.
"It's huge to play for your country - another shot at a five set match, playing quality opponents, it's big", Thompson said. It was unbelievable how it happened. Thompson clinched the match in the fourth set by breaking Sock's service twice. He's an incredible player but I'm a little bit used to the match-up.
"I just tried to wear him down, and I thought I was fit enough to do that", Thompson said.
The Australians were clearly feeling the energy from the singles rubbers on day one, with Groth and Peers bounding out of the blocks as they tried to steal a march on the American duo.