10 Takeaways From Day 3 At The ATP Cup
A look back at the most notable stories from Day 3 in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney
The second phase of round robin ties has begun, with 12 countries contesting their second ATP Cup fixtures on Day 3. With Final Eight qualification secured for one nation, doubles drama and a number of talking points from the innovative Team Zones, Day 3 has delivered plenty of talking points across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.
Here are 10 of the biggest takeaways from Day 3:
1) Australia Qualifies: Team Australia became the first country to book its place in the Final Eight, leaving seven spots available for the remaining 23 contenders. The home nation recorded its second 3-0 tie victory on Sunday and will meet Team Greece in its final round robin tie.
2) No Stopping De Minaur: Alex de Minaur has found his best level at the ATP Cup. The two-time Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up has recovered from a set down in both his singles matches to beat Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov, but on Day 3 he also impressed fans off the court. The 20-year-old made an impressive catch from the Team Zone during John Peers and Chris Guccione’s doubles victory.
3) Bulgarian Success: Team Bulgaria’s dream start to the ATP Cup continued on Sunday. Following its dramatic 2-1 win against Team Great Britain, Grigor Dimitrov clinched another 2-1 success against Team Moldova. The World No. 20 beat Radu Albot 6-2, 6-3 to earn an unassailable 2-0 lead, adding to Dimitar Kuzmanov’s 6-1, 7-5 win against Alexander Cozbinov.
4) Bulgaria’s Honorary Member: When Team Bulgaria’s playing captain Dimitrov is warming up for his matches, who leads the team? The answer is Dimitrov’s new coach Christian Groh. The German, who began coaching the 28-year-old last month, has been a regular fixture in the Bulgarian Team Zone offering advice to all the players during their successful start to the ATP Cup.
5) Germany Saves 6 M.P.: Pat Rafter Arena witnessed a doubles classic on Sunday night as Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies saved six match points to overcome Michail Pervolarakis and Stefanos Tsitsipas in a decisive doubles rubber. Tsitsipas entered the match in form after levelling the tie at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Alexander Zverev, but the Roland Garros titlists played fearless tennis under pressure to secure a marathon 3-6, 6-3, 17-15 triumph.
6) Brits Bounce Back: After failing to convert two match points to win a decisive doubles match against Team Bulgaria on Day 1, Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray edged Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 6-3, 7-6(7) to move Team Great Britain to 1-1 in Group C. In singles, Daniel Evans upset David Goffin 6-4, 6-4 after Steve Darcis opened the tie with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Cameron Norrie.
7) Reliable Russians: For the second straight tie, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev completed singles victories to obtain an unassailable 2-0 advantage. Khachanov withstood an impressive start from Taylor Fritz to defeat the American 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, before Medvedev broke John Isner on four occasions to win 6-3, 6-1.
8) Italy On The Board: After losing to Team Russia in its first tie, Team Italy responded with a 2-1 triumph against Team Norway. Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini overcame Day 1 doubles winners Viktor Durasovic and Casper Ruud to add to Stefano Travaglia’s 6-1, 6-1 success against Durasovic.
9) Another Top 20 Win: Ruud followed his comeback victory against World No. 19 John Isner with an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win against World No. 12 Fognini. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier, who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, has won three of the four matches he has played at this event.
10) Best For Last: Following John Millman’s 6-4, 6-2 success against Felix Auger-Aliassime and De Minaur’s 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 comeback win against Shapovalov,Peers and Guccione finished Australia’s tie with a volleying masterclass at Pat Rafter Arena. Serving at 9/8 in a final-set tie-break against Auger-Aliassime and Adil Shamasdin, the Australians soaked up the pressure from their opponents with solid net play to claim the win.