Aussies upset Italy in huge ATP Cup win

AUSTRALIA has stunned one of the ATP Cup favourites in Italy on day two, coming from a match down to win the tie 2-1. Following a withdrawal from James Duckworth, and Max Purcell having to step in, it took a monumental effort from Alex de Minaur and a near-perfect doubles performance from John Peers and Luke Saville to bring home the victory.

Australia (2) defeated Italy (1)

Purcell was no match for a red-hot Jannik Sinner, as the Italians got off to a predictably strong start. Sinner won 83 and 55 per cent of his first and second serve points off a 73 per cent clip, whilst Purcell won just 16 per cent of his second serve points off a 59 per cent clip. The Italian young gun also broke five times to one, and at one stage cruised to nine games in a row. Though Purcell won his three consecutive games in the second set, went down 6-1 6-3.

It put all the pressure back on de Minaur who was taking on world number seven, Matteo Berrettini. In a performance that wound back the clock, de Minaur won 6-3 7-6, fighting off a powerful Berrettini in a second set tiebreaker to level the tie. Showcasing his trademark court coverage and touch around the net, de Minaur withstood Berrettini’s power to win 78 per cent of his second serve points, and break the Italian two times to one for the victory.

In a change to the doubles, Berrettini was subbed in for Fabio Fognini to play alongside Simone Bolelli against Peers and Saville. The Australians served four aces and won 83 and 65 per cent of their first and second serve points, compared to the Italian duo’s 71 and 59 per cent. They also saved both break points set up by the Italians, and broke twice from six chances during the 6-3 7-5 win, including in the penultimate game after holding serve to force it beyond 10 games.


Unlike day one, three of the four ties were decided by the doubles , with Russia and Great Britain also saluting in this fashion. Russia managed to get the points against France, in what would have been a bitter blow for the French. Ugo Humbert produced the biggest upset of the ATP Cup, taking down world number two Daniil Medvedev in a three-set thriller, 6-7 7-5 7-6 after trailing 0-3 in the second set. But it mattered little after Roman Safiullin had come from behind to defeat Humbert’s compatriot Arthur Rinderknech, and then Safiullin teamed up with Medvedev to close out the tie in doubles, 6-4 6-4.

The other thrilling contest saw Great Britain take down Germany in Group C. Daniel Evans had a day to remember, winning the deciding tie alongside Jamie Murray over Kevin Krawietz and Alexander Zverev. In what was a puzzling move to say the least, Zverev was subbed in for Krawietz’s usual partner and Top 20 doubles player Tim Puetz, and it backfired as the British combination won 6-3 6-4. Earlier in the day, Evans defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in a dominant 6-1 6-2 performance, before Zverev levelled the tie with a 7-6 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie.

Surprisingly the other head-to-head was a blitz and went the way of the underdog, with the United States getting the better of their northern rivals Canada in a 3-0 sweep. Denis Shapovalov was a late withdrawal from the singles, enabling Brayden Schnur to step in, though his opponent John Isner was far too strong, winning 6-1 6-3. Then Taylor Fritz fought back from a tough first set tiebreak loss 8-6 to win against Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 6-4 6-4, and seal the tie for the United States. Despite the doubles being a dead rubber, rare doubles combination Fritz and Isner defeated an underdone Shapovalov, and Auger-Aliassime in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.

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