Associated Press2 Minute Read
MALAGA, Spain — Jannik Sinner’s flawless performance led Italy to its first Davis Cup title in almost 50 years, capping off a historic victory over Australia. Sinner maintained a perfect 5-0 record for the week, securing the win by defeating Alex De Miñaur 6-3, 6-0 in the second singles match of Sunday’s final.
This victory marked Italy’s first Davis Cup title since 1976. Matteo Arnaldi also contributed to the team’s success, clinching the first point with a hard-fought 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win over Alexei Popyrin.
During Saturday’s semifinals, Sinner showcased his prowess by beating top-ranked Novak Djokovic in both singles and doubles matches, solidifying Italy’s path to the finals.
The young Italian, at 22 years old, secured Italy’s victory against Australia in just 1 hour and 21 minutes. “We are all very young. We are really hungry to try to win it one more time for our life, but having this feeling at least once, it is a really special feeling,” said Sinner, who has a remarkable record of defeating nine top-10 players since September.
“I think I won one of the most important matches of my life,” said Arnaldi, who saved eight break points before securing a break of his own to close out the decisive first match.
Prior to this victory, Italy had never won the Davis Cup title, having lost in three finals against Australia. Despite Australia’s status as 28-time champions, the team hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2003. Captain Lleyton Hewitt was on the winning squad as a player at the time.
Despite this loss, Australia remains a formidable force in the Davis Cup, becoming just the second nation to win 200 Davis Cup ties, with the United States being the other.
Matteo Berrettini’s absence in the Italian team was noted due to an injury, but he was in Malaga to support his countrymen. “Thanks to Matteo,” Sinner said. “He has had a very tough year (with) a lot of injuries. For all of us, that he came here, it means a lot. He gave us a lot of positive energy.”
As the Davis Cup Finals continue, Spain was awarded a wild card for the group stage in Valencia, ensuring that the competition remains in Malaga for the following year. Italy, Australia, and Great Britain all secured spots in the group stage, along with Spain, for the following year’s competition.
The women’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals will also remain in the southern Spanish city of Seville next year.
Jessica Roberts serves up the latest in the world of tennis. With a love for the racket sport, she reports on tennis matches, player rankings, and Grand Slam events, ensuring readers stay informed about the tennis world.