ATP Cup Results: Germany tackles, Canada advances to the semifinals
MDP Live - Felix Auger Aliassime steered Canada into the ATP Cup semifinals after thrashing world number 3 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, his first career win over a top 5 player.
After England's 2-1 win over the US earlier at the Qudos Bank Arena, Canada knew a win over Germany would see them through to the semifinals of the 2022 ATP Cup season.
With the pressure all around, Auger Aliassime followed in Denis Shapovalov's winning footsteps by showing incredible tenacity against Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Zverev. With the win, Canada won 2-0 against Germany in Group C and will face defending champions Russia in this season's ATP Cup semifinals.
“It was incredible to beat Zverev,” Auger Aliassime exclaimed. “I played a stunning match. He's a great player and he's beaten me a few times before. So, I'm very happy to be able to complete my task today (6/1), especially for the team."
"We had a pretty tough start to the tournament a few days ago, so to finish well and make it to the semi-finals feels really special. The atmosphere is also amazing, that's why we compete."
In an entertaining match, the 21-year-old bounced back after wasting four break point opportunities at 3-3 in the second set before winning the match after 2 hours 32 minutes.
World number 12 Auger Aliassime was impressive with his serve throughout the match, including winning 76 percent of his first serve points. He maintained a high and consistent level of play in a fierce decider before going 2-4 in head to head against Zverev.
For the first time, Canada has reached the semifinals of the men's team competition. Another semifinal will bring together Poland and Spain.
In the previous match, Shapovalov gave Canada hope with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Jan Lennard Struff.
"It's great to be back and competing," said Shapovalov. "We got a golden opportunity. There is a lot waiting for us, but we are fighting and we have fought every game. Felix inspired us in the previous games and we are just trying to give everything we can for Canada."
The match between Canada and Germany was completed when German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat Steven Diez and Brayden Schnur 6-3, 6-4.
ATP Cup Results: Greece ends the journey with positive results
MDP Live - Greece finally picked up its first win in Group D of the 2022 ATP Cup season thanks to the wins of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Michail Pervolarakis.
In the previous two Group D matches, Greece lost 1-2 to Poland and 0-3 to Argentina.
The world number 4 was leading 4-1 over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first set but Basilashvili returned to his team zone and complained that he was struggling to breathe after taking two points in the sixth game.
"It's not easy to play when you're not 100 per cent perfect, but I fully understand that," said Tsitsipas.
In a fantastic doubles match, Georgian duo Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli secured three match point opportunities to clinch a 4-6, 6-3, 16-14 win over Tsitsipas and Pervolarakis after battling it out for 1 hour 34 minutes. The Greek duo managed to create a number of match point opportunities, at 9/8, 11/10, and 13/12 in the decisive tiebreak, but failed to execute the golden opportunity.
In her previous outing, the 25-year-old secured her first ATP Cup singles win for Greece when she pulled off an impressive 6-3, 6-2 win over Metreveli in 68 minutes at the Qudos Bank Arena.
"It's unbelievable. It was my first win in the singles ATP tournament,” said Pervolarakis.
Pervolarakis used most of his chances well, including breaking Metreveli for a 4-2 lead in the first set with a forehand winner that hit the line. The world number 399 came back from 0/30 to seal a 37-minute set by converting a fourth chance.
Two break service opportunities, in the first and seventh games, were enough for the world number 399 in the second set which ended after Metreveli made a mistake with a backhand.
"I'm really happy when I was able to get a win for my country and for myself," said Pervolarakis.
"Right now I'm at a level where I still can't play an ATP tournament every week, but my target is just to keep improving until next season."
ATP Cup Results: Hubert Hurkacz places Poland at the top of Group D
MDP Live - Hubert Hurkacz avoided a bitter defeat on day three of the 2022 ATP Cup season and led his country to a second win in the team competition.
Knowing the previous night that he would be playing Georgian world number 571 Aleksandre Metreveli instead of world number 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili, the Pole had to reset his game and he needed time to adjust.
The 2021 Miami Open champion had to lose the first set against Metreveli before coming back with more stability and winning 6-7, 6-3, 6-1.
"He played well in the first set and things didn't go my way. But I'm getting better in every set and feel good about getting the win," Hurkacz said.
“The conditions are different from the first match at the Qudos Bank Arena. The ball bounced a little higher and faster. So, I have to adapt. But having the Polish audience here cheering us on is really helpful. They are amazing.”
Poland can book a place in the 2022 ATP Cup semifinals if they beat Argentina in the final group stage match.
Despite conceding the first set, Hurkacz appeared dominant with serve. He shot 16 aces, won 80 percent of the points from his first serve, 69 percent of the points from his second serve, and he didn't face a single break point opportunity.
In the previous game, Kamil Majchrzak gave Poland a convincing start when he lost just two of my games against Aleksandre Bakshi at Ken Rosewall Arena. World number 117 Majchrzak was too tough for world number 974 Bakshi to win 6-1, 6-1 in just 53 minutes.
"I tried to move Bakshi and I think that was the key to this match," said Majchrzak.
Coached by former world number 7 Sweden, Joakim Nystorm, Majchrzak added. "He gives me a lot of confidence and composure in my game, so I can feel that I have improved. We worked on all aspects of my game, but not to the point of interfering with my baseline game. We'll take it from training to actual games, but it takes time."
Poland did not let Georgia win a single point after their mainstay duo, Szymon Walkow and Jan Zienlinski overthrew Bakshi and Metreveli 6-7, 6-2, 10-6.
Novak Djokovic Potentially Missing ATP Cup Tournament
MDP Live - Serbian Novak Djokovic is certain to miss the ATP Cup tournament held before the 2022 Australian Open, where Djokovic's participation is still in doubt.
The world number one's participation in the 2022 Australian Open remains uncertain as he refuses to disclose whether he has been vaccinated for privacy reasons, Djokovic's team told Serbian newspaper Blic.
"99 per cent Novak will not go to the ATP Cup. He is training here (in Belgrade), but he has decided to skip the tournament," said one member of the team who did not want to be named, as quoted by AFP.
The ATP Cup in Sydney is a team tennis championship which is the opening event for the Australian Open as well as starting the new season of the men's tennis tournament.
The Australian Open, which kicks off on January 17, could be a chance for Djokovic to score a record 21 Grand Slam titles.
However, based on Australian government policy, everyone who wants to enter the country must have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old tennis player had previously expressed his rejection of the vaccine.
Djokovic's father, Srdjan, said last November that his son might not appear at the Australian Open and accused organizers of "blackmail" over mandatory vaccinations.