Germany, Italy win to stay in ATP Cup hunt

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  • Alexander Zverev
    Alexander Zverev
    German tennis player
  • John Isner
    John Isner
    American tennis player
  • Matteo Berrettini
    Italian tennis player
  • Jan-Lennard Struff
    Jan-Lennard Struff
    German tennis player

Matteo Berrettini bounced back to keep Italy's ATP Cup title hopes alive while Alexander Zverev did the same for Germany in Sydney.

World No.3 Zverev needed five match points to put American Taylor Fritz away 6-4 6-4, the victory coming after Jan-Lennard Struff claimed a nail-biting victory over American John Isner in their opening match.

Isner sent down 34 aces but world No.51 Struff prevailed 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 7-5 before the US team clawed back a point in the doubles fixture.

The win put Germany ahead of the US, but with both teams now 1-1 they'll hope Great Britain (1-0) lose to Canada (0-1) later on Wednesday night to leave all four teams with 1-1 records ahead of their final matches.

"Great effort by Jan to beat John in these conditions that I think suit him ... we needed that win, we needed to get on the board, and it made my job easy, as well," Zverev said.

"It's the second match of the season. I'm still getting into it. I'm still trying to adjust, but I'm happy with how things are."

Beaten in last year's final by Russia, the highly fancied Italians' campaign got off to a disappointing start when they were upset by Australia in their first match.

World No.7 Berrettini was a shock straight-sets loser against top-ranked Australian Alex de Minaur.

But Berrettini backed up the early singles victory by Jannik Sinner, who conquered Arthur Rinderknech 6-3 7-6 (7-3), to wrap up the victory.

Berrettini edged world No.35 Humbert 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in a confidence-boosting performance given the French ace upset world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.

Like Germany, Italy sit 1-1 and will be jumped by the winner of the Australia-Russia tie.

"I had to play my best tennis in the important moments to win the match and I'm really happy with my performance," said Berrettini in his on-court interview.

Earlier world No.10 Sinner continued his winning start after overcoming a second-set hiccup.

The 20-year-old Sinner was down a break in the second set before clawing his way back to force the tiebreak against big-serving Rinderknech, who is ranked world No. 58.

Sinner's 2021 ended with him becoming the youngest player to finish the year in the top 10 since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2008.

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