Hot USA to play Italy in United Cup final

Team USA are full of belief after completing a 5-0 semi-final drubbing of Poland to emphatically underline their United Cup title credentials.

A 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 10-6 mixed doubles victory for Taylor Fritz and Jessica Pegula over veteran Lukasz Kubot and teenager Alicja Rosolska rounded out another American clean sweep in Sydney.

The United States will enter Sunday's final against either Italy having dropped only two rubbers out of 20 in their four ties so far at the new mixed teams' event.

The tie was already sealed before the mixed after Fritz edged Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) in two tight tiebreak sets earlier on Saturday to give the Americans an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five-rubber semi-final.

Madison Keys then routed Magda Linette 6-4 6-2 to remain unbeaten in four Cup singles matches before Fritz and Pegula rallied from a set down to complete the whitewash under a closed roof at Ken Rosewall Arena.

Team USA had enjoyed a commanding 2-0 overnight buffer after singles wins on Friday for Pegula and Frances Tiafoe.

Pegula stunned world No.1 Iga Swiatek 6-2 6-2 before Tiafoe outclassed world No.245 Kacper Zuk 6-3 6-3 to extend his undefeated record at the competition to five matches, including one mixed win with Pegula.

"It was great to get the win today to get us through," Fritz said.

"I've played with Team USA a lot but I think it's a huge advantage this time having the girls in our team because it just makes the whole team so much stronger.

"So I'm super excited going into the finals and I think we've been favourites all week."

Pegula has won three straight singles matches, including her rousing victory over Swiatek, as well as four mixed encounters since dropping her opening rubber against Petra Kvitova.

But the world No.3 was still relieved to see Fritz finish off Poland and avoid a potentially nerve-wracking deciding mixed match.

"I was very stressed. I was doing the stress thing with the ball and my hands were like freaking out," Pegula said.

"It was awesome for Taylor to clinch that in a really, really tight match against a great player.

"Kudos to him. That definitely took the pressure off the rest of us for the rest of the day."

Italy booked their place in the title decider when Lucia Bronzetti put away Valentini Grammatikopoulou 6-2 6-3 in Saturday night's second singles rubber to give her team an unbeatable 3-1 lead.

"It's a special moment to bring this important point to Italy and we are in the final," said a jubilant Bronzetti.

Italy had enjoyed a 2-0 lead entering session two of the second semi-final following singles wins on Friday night for Martina Trevisan and Lorenzo Musetti.

Trevisan upset world No.6 Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 7-5 in a three-hour, 15-minute epic before Musetti crushed world No.803 Stefanos Sakellaridis 6-1 6-1.

But steely Stefanos Tsitsipas kept Greece's hopes flickering with a fighting 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 comeback win over Matteo Berrettini in Saturday's first singles match of Saturday night's session.

In the first men's blockbuster of the summer, featuring two big-hitting grand slam runners-up, Tsitsipas broke Berrettini's serve for the only time deep in the third set to snatch victory and keep Greece's title hopes alive.

But world No.199 Grammatikopoulou was no match for the 54th-ranked Bronzetti.

With all four singles combatants ranked inside the world's top 20, and three in the top 12, Team USA are the undoubted final favourites.

For starters, Berrettini surely must beat Fritz in the men's battle of the two respective No.1s for Italy to have any hope.