SYDNEY (AP)Felix Auger-Aliassime sent Canada into the semifinals of the ATP Cup on Thursday by beating third-ranked Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Denis Shapovalov had set up Auger-Aliassime’s clincher over Germany by downing Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 in the first singles match.
Canada will play defending champion Russia on Saturday. The other semifinalists, Poland and Spain, play on Friday.
”It feels good to beat Zverev,” the 11th-ranked Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. ”He’s a great player. He’s beaten me a couple of times before, so I’m happy I was able to get the job done today, especially for the team … to finish off strong with this group and to win it and to be through to the semis is special.”
The 21-year-old Quebec native squandered four break points at 3-3 in the second set but said he stayed positive.
”Trust me, it’s not always easy to stay positive out there. I was able to do so today and I think that’s why I was able to win in the third set,” he said.
Canada advanced with a 2-1 win after Germany salvaged a doubles victory.
Earlier, Russia beat Italy 2-1 to advance to the semifinals unbeaten.
Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin stepped up for Russia in the decisive doubles, overcoming Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner 5-7, 6-4, 10-5 to clinch the victory.
Sinner gave Italy the early lead with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Safiullin, but the second-ranked Medvedev leveled the contest with a 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4 win over Berrettini.
”The first set I was in control and it’s tricky because you think that things will continue to go your way but that’s not the case when you’re up against a top 10 player,” Medvedev said. ”I made some bad decisions in the second set so I tried to learn from that in the third. I served well throughout the match and that helped me.”
Britain staged a come-from-behind win in doubles to complete a 2-1 victory over the United States, but it was later eliminated when Canada advanced.
Jamie Murray and Dan Evans rallied from a set and a service break down to beat Taylor Fritz and John Isner 6-7 (3), 7-5, 10-8.
”We were just hustling and we kept trying to get the ball back in play and start using our skills after that,” Murray said. ”At 4-2 we got a bit of momentum and came down to a tiebreak, which is what it comes down to on a doubles court so many times.”
The final is scheduled for Sunday.
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