Germany and Italy keep their ATP Cup hopes alive
SYDNEY: World number three Alexander Zverev dominated American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-4 to maintain Germany’s hopes in the ATP Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, Jan.4, while Matteo Berrettini propelled the Italy to victory over France at the Sydney Super Dome.
After Jan-Lennard Struff survived a 34-ace attack from John Isner to win 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-5, Zverev beat Fritz early in both sets before capitalizing on a sixth match point en route to victory in the Group C tie.
The victory took Germany, who lost to Great Britain in their opener, 1-1 in the group before facing Canada on Thursday.
“Until the last game it was a good level for my second game of the year. It was very intense and punchy,” said Zverev, who will be aiming for glory at the Australian Open this month. .
“The most important thing is that the German team won and we gave ourselves the best chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.”
World number seven Berrettini defeated Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-6 (6) in Group B after Jannik Sinner defeated Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Humbert knocked out Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev on Sunday and threatened with another upset after forcing a tiebreaker in the second set, but Berrettini dominated with his serve to clinch a tie for Italy.
“(It was) a really tough game, especially under these conditions. He’s a great server, a delicate player,” said Berrettini, who lost his opener in singles to Australia’s Alex de Minaur.
“I had to play my best tennis in the important moments to win the match … I’m really happy (with) my performance.”
US Open champion Medvedev will face De Minaur later Tuesday as Russia continue their ATP Cup title defense against Australia.
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov will face Great Britain’s Dan Evans while Felix Auger-Aliassime will face Cameron Norrie in Group C in the other match of the night at Ken Rosewall Arena.