Jan-Lennard Struff has given Germany a 1-0 lead over the United States on Day 4 of ATP Cup after surviving 34 aces from John Isner to claw out a 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-5 win on Ken Rosewall Arena.
Isner had fought off all seven break points faced, including two match points, before Struff finally converted his third match point on the American’s serve after hitting a clean forehand winner deep into the ad court.
“It’s always tough against John,” Struff said. “I had played him four times before and lost four times. So I’m very happy to get the win for my team today.
“It’s not just his own serve that makes it tough. You have to focus on your own serve because if you get broken it’s very tough to come back. I was very happy how I played and competed.”
World No. 3 Alexander Zverev will now look to clinch the tie for Germany when he takes on Taylor Fritz in the No. 1 singles.
ATP Cup format sees the No. 2 singles played first, followed by the No. 1 singles and the doubles. Doubles uses no-ad scoring and a match tie-break in place of a third set.
Each country plays three matches in group play from 1-6 January across Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park. One team emerges from each of the four groups to contest the two semi-finals, which will be split over two days (7-8 January), with the final played 9 January.
Group C Qualifying Scenarios
No team can clinch the group by winning today’s ties. If USA and Great Britain win their ties that would set up a winner-takes-all showdown on Day 6, with the winner claiming a semi-final berth.