Italy claims second Davis Cup title

Italy has defeated Australia to claim their second Davis Cup title after Matteo Arnaldi had clinched the opening match to setup Sinner.

Sinner held a 5-0 head-to-head record against world no. 12 Alex de Minaur going into the clincher.

de Minaur held to love in the opening game of the match but then Sinner showed he is a class above the Australian.

Earlier Arnaldi had won in three hard fought sets against Alexei Popyin.

Canberra: 4 January 2023 – Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi during a round 2 match at the Canberra International tournament. Photo by Rob Keating, http://robiciatennisphotography.com

The opening set was a scrappy affair with both players feeling the pressure.

Popyrin looked to be out of the first set when serving at 0-40 and 4-5. The world no. 40 escaped from that game and looked to be taking control when holding break points at 15-40.

Arnaldi managed to find some big serves to then move to 6-5. A few moments later the Italian broke his opponent to take the opening set.

Popyrin bounced back in the second set and cruised to a 6-2 set win.

The deciding set saw Popyrin uanable to convert any of the 8 break points that he had earned. Arnaldi on the other had two break points and he converted his second to claim the opening rubber with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory.

“I felt like I was in control from the second set onwards,” world No.40 Popyrin said.

“It’s just painful that I couldn’t get us off on the right foot.”

Sinner after escaping from his match against world no. 1 Novak Djokovic was full of confidence knowing he could claim the title with a win against de Minaur.

25 winners would come from Sinner’s racquet to just nine unforced errors. de Minaur hit 15 winners and had 15 unforced errors.

Sinner saw Italy claim the title with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-0 victory.

“Jannik is riding this amazing wave of confidence … he’s seriously impressive the level he’s showing,” de Minaur conceded.

“I will find ways to get better, to be able to hurt these types of players. Today I just didn’t have enough. I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to give the boys a chance to play the doubles, that’s probably the biggest disappointment.”

“It has been an incredible feeling I think for all of us and obviously we are really happy,” said Sinner.

“We kept together everything and obviously yesterday we went from one point away from being out and now we can celebrate the win. I think we can all be very, very happy.”

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