Zverev, Berrettini win to maintain ATP Cup hopes alive


SYDNEY:

Top-10 stars Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini each clocked strong victories on Tuesday as they ramped up preparations for the Australian Open by maintaining Germany and Italy on observe on the ATP Cup.

German world quantity three Zverev got here by means of a workmanlike 6-4, 6-Four conflict in opposition to American Taylor Fritz, his second straight win of the brand new season.

Seventh-ranked Italian Berrettini, in the meantime, bounced again from a shock defeat to Australia’s Alex Di Minaur on Sunday to battle previous Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), who upset US Open champion Daniil Medvedev on the weekend.

“In general, it was at a good level for the second match of the year, a high intensity and hard-hitting,” mentioned Zverev. “Most important is that Team Germany won.”

Earlier Jan-Lennard Struff gave Germany a 1-Zero lead with a gutsy 7-6 (8/7), 4-6, 7-5 win over big-serving John Isner, who smashed 34 aces.

“It’s always tough against John,” Struff mentioned. “I had played him four times before and lost four times. So I’m very happy to get the win for my team today.”

The win saved Germany’s ATP Cup hopes alive after they misplaced to Britain of their opener, with solely the highest nation from every of the 4 teams progressing to the knockouts.

Last 12 months’s runner-up Italy suffered a disappointing defeat on Sunday in opposition to Australia, largely all the way down to Berrettini shedding in straight units to Di Minaur.

But he made amends in opposition to Humbert, successful 85 p.c of his first-serve factors.

“A really tough match, especially in these conditions. He’s a great server, a tricky player, a lefty,” mentioned the Italian, who dominated along with his serve, sending down 18 aces.

“It’s a big weapon that I have and when it is working like this, it helps me a lot.”

World quantity 10 Jannik Sinner set Italy on their approach, defeating France’s Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) within the opening singles, rallying from a break down within the second set.

“It’s never easy playing against him, it was the third time already. The first set I was under control. In the second set I dropped a little bit of intensity,” mentioned Sinner.

Rinderknech defeated Sinner on clay in Lyon final 12 months, and appeared primed to push for one more upset, however one error allowed the Italian again on serve and he made no mistake from there.

France is now 0-2 on the match, having additionally misplaced in opposition to defending champions Russia.

Russia and Australia, who each gained their opening matches, meet within the night session with Medvedev enjoying Di Minaur.

Canada, spearheaded by Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, faces Britain within the different evening tie.

The Canadians fell to the United States of their opener whereas the Cameron Norrie-led British upset Zverev’s Germany.

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