De Minaur leads Australia's ATP Cup charge

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  • Alex De Minaur
    Alex De Minaur
    Australian tennis player
  • Matteo Berrettini
    Italian tennis player
  • Jannik Sinner
    Jannik Sinner
    Italian tennis player

Alex de Minaur has taken down Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini to inspire Australia to a 2-1 comeback win over Italy at the ATP Cup in Sydney.

After a disrupted 2021 season, de Minaur equalled - statistically - the biggest win of his career, downing world No.7 Berrettini 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to get Australia back on level terms in the tournament.

John Peers and Luke Saville then sealed Australia's upset victory with a 6-3 7-5 over Berrettini and Simone Bolelli in the doubles after Max Purcell was brushed aside by world No. 10 Jannik Sinner 6-1 6-3 in the opening singles rubber at Ken Rosewall Arena.

Underdogs before the tournament, Australia next face defending champions Russia on Tuesday with renewed hope of making the quarter-finals.

De Minaur will be up against world No.2 Daniil Medvedev, who, despite suffering a shock loss to Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the singles, teamed up with Roman Safiullin in the doubles to claim a 2-1 victory for the Russians earlier on Monday.

De Minaur, ranked 34th in the world, looked to be heading to a straightforward victory when he broke Berrettini in the fourth game of the first set.

He appeared assured when he went 5-3 up in the second set, too, before the Italian threw a spanner in the works by breaking back and forcing the tiebreak.

The Australian had four match points and finally came good on the third to seal the win.

"This is what you work hard for, to play on your home court in front of your friends and family playing for Australia," said an emotional de Minaur.

"There's no greater honour and it brings out the best in me.

"It's not about how many times you get knocked down, it's about how many times you get knocked down and get back up again.

"That's what I want to keep doing. I didn't have the best year (in 2021). I had some setbacks, unlucky events and COVID, but I'm back and I'm ready to have a big year."

De Minaur's win came after Purcell was a late call-up following James Duckworth's withdrawal from his match with Sinner due to hip soreness.

The 23-year-old, who is ranked 176th, looked to be a lamb to the slaughter in the opening set.

Despite some aggressive net play to get himself back in contention in the second, Sinner claimed a comfortable victory before Peers and Saville secured Australia the win.

"I thought we were at a great level tonight," Savile said.

"I've loved being a part of this group and this team this week."

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