ATP Cup Day 2 wrap: Two teams book semi-finals spots while Germans set up Serbian battle
BOTH Italy and Russia are through to the ATP Cup semi-finals, while Germany set up a virtual elimination final with Serbia in the third group match. In the other result, Australia managed to grab a win against Greece, though being swept by Spain all but eliminated their chances of moving through to the next round, meaning Greece will need to beat Spain in order to book a spot in the semis.
ITALY 2 defeated FRANCE 1
In what was anticipated to be one of the matchups of the day, Italy wrapped up their tie against France to book a semi-final spot at the ATP Cup. The Italians backed up their win over Austria the day before with a 2-1 win over France. This time Fabio Fognini was not letting his guard down after a poor singles performance on day one, knocking over Benoit Paire in straight sets, 6-1 7-6.
Matteo Berrettini followed his good form from day one thanks to an upset over Dominic Thiem, to put away Gael Monfils 6-4 6-2 to guarantee Italy safe passage into the final four. The doubles were effectively a dead rubber, but it was the French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vaselin who were too strong for their Italian counterparts Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori, winning 6-3 6-4.
France will take on Austria in the final group match to determine second or third.
Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-4 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-1 7-6
N. Mahut / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) defeated S. Bolelli / A. Vavassori (ITA) 6-4 6-3
RUSSIA 2 defeated JAPAN 1
Following Italy into the semi-finals was Russia who took care of Japan in similar fashion, winning by the end of the two singles. Having two Top 10 players up against two opponents outside the Top 40 made them heavy favourites, and Daniil Medvedev made the most of his chances against Kei Nishikori who will be hoping to have more continuity in his game after missing so much time due to injury the last 18 months. Medvedev won 6-2 6-4, while his teammate Andrey Rublev had no issues with a 6-1 6-3 triumph over Yoshihito Nishioka.
In the doubles, Japan turned the tables on Russia in a thriller, with Ben McLachlan and Nishioka teaming up to win in a third set tiebreaker, 4-6 6-3 12-12-10. Their opponents were Evgeny Donskoy and Aslan Karatsev as Rublev and Medvedev rested up for the semi-finals.
Japan takes on Argentina in the final group match to determine second and third.
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-2 6-4
Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-1 6-3
B. McLachlan / Y. Nishioka (JPN) defeated E. Donskoy / A. Karatsev (RUS) 4-6 6-3 12-10
AUSTRALIA 2 defeated GREECE 1
Australia enjoyed a nice successful win over Greece following a heartbreaking 3-0 loss to Spain the day before. While the Spanish are anticipated to advance through providing they do not get swept themselves by Greece, the home nation was able to grab a win on Rod Laver Arena. It started with John Millman taking care of Michail Pervolarakis in straight sets 6-2 6-3, before Stefanos Tsitsipas levelled proceedings with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Alex de Minaur.
It all came down to the doubles with Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas teaming up against specialist doubles pairing John Peers and Luke Saville. The Greek team pushed the Australians all the way to a third set tiebreak before Peers and Saville claimed victory, 6-3 4-6 10-5. Now Greece takes on Spain in the final group match.
John Millman (AUS) defeated Michail Pervolarakis (GRE) 6-2 6-3
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 7-5
J. Peers / L. Saville (AUS) defeated M. Pervolarakis / S. Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-3 4-6 10-5
GERMANY 2 defeated CANADA 1
Germany eliminated Canada and set up an effective elimination final with Serbia for the final group match after their second day win. The German team took care of Canada’s two Top 20 players, with a battle of the big servers up first resulting in Jan-Lennard Struff upsetting Milos Raonic in two tiebreakers, 7-6 7-6. They went to 7-4 and 7-2 respectively in those tiebreakers, but the consistent German outlasted his higher ranked opponent.
In the other singles match, Alexander Zverev took down young gun Denis Shapovalov, winning 6-7 6-3 7-6 in one of the matches of the tournament. Continuing his form from last year, Zverev needed the full three sets – and a 7-4 deciding set tiebreak – to shake off the Canadian, and prepare for a huge grudge match against world number one, Novak Djokovic. In the doubles, Canada surprised Struff and Kevin Krawietz in three sets, with Steven Diez and Peter Polansky forcing tiebreakers galore to win 7-6 6-7 10-3 and grab a point for the North American nation.
Germany takes on Serbia in the final group match to decide the semi-finalist.
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Milos Raonic (CAN) 7-6 7-6
Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-7 6-3 7-6
S. Diez / P. Polansky (CAN) defeated K. Krawietz / J. Struff (GER) 7-6 6-7 10-3
Picture credit: Jack Thomas/Getty Images