Top-10 stars Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini both recorded solid victories on Tuesday as they ramped up preparations for the Australian Open by keeping Germany and Italy on track during the ATP Cup. Germany’s number three in the world, Zverev, came in a skillful 6-4, 6-4 clash against American Taylor Fritz, his second consecutive win of the new season. Seventh-ranked Italian Berrettini rebounded from a shocking defeat to Australian Alex Di Minaur on Sunday to beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), who defeated US Open champion Daniil Medvedev over the weekend. upset.
“Overall it was at a good level for the second game of the year, with high intensity and hard hitting,” Zverev said. “The most important thing is that Team Germany won.”
Earlier, Jan-Lennard Struff gave Germany a 1-0 lead with a daring 7-6 (8/7), 4-6, 7-5 victory over John Isner with a big helping, who crushed 34 aces.
“It’s always hard against John,” Struff said. “I had already played against him four times and lost four times. So I am very happy to have won the victory for my team today.”
The win kept Germany’s ATP Cup hopes alive after losing to Great Britain in their opener, with only the best nation from each of the four groups advancing to the knockouts.
Italy, last year’s runner-up, suffered a disappointing defeat to Australia on Sunday, largely thanks to Berrettini losing in straight sets to Di Minaur.
But he made up for it against Humbert, winning 85 percent of his first serve points.
“A very difficult game, especially under these conditions. He is a great server, a difficult player, a left-hander,” said the Italian, who dominated with his serve and put down 18 aces.
“It’s a great weapon I have and when it works like that, it helps me a lot.”
World No. 10, Jannik Sinner, set Italy on track, beating France’s Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in the opening basehits and recovering from a disturbance in the second set.
“It’s never easy to play against him, it was already the third time. The first set I was in control. In the second set I lost a bit of intensity,” Sinner said.
Rinderknech defeated Sinner on clay in Lyon last year and looked set for another defeat, but one mistake allowed the Italian to serve again and from then on he made no mistake.
France is now 0-2 in the tournament, after also losing to defending champions Russia.
Russia and Australia, who both won their opening game, meet in the evening session with Medvedev against Di Minaur.
Canada, led by Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, takes on Great Britain last night.
The Canadians fell to the United States in their opener, while the British led by Cameron Norrie upset Zverev’s Germany.
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