MALAGA: Jannik Sinner’s spellbinding performance led Italy to its first Davis Cup title since 1976 after overcoming Australia’s Alex de Minaur 6-3 6-0 in the 2023 Davis Cup Final in Malaga.
Sinner, who has been in sensational form all week, was just too good for his Australian counterpart in the second singles match, needing just an hour and 21 minutes to cap what has been a perfect week for the 22-year-old. In addition to defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in singles and doubles yesterday, the Italian, who is very much the men’s game’s future, was undefeated in all five of the matches he played in Malaga.
After an aggressive love service hold to start the match, De Minaur managed to win just two more games against an imperious Sinner. The 10-time ATP Tour champion dominated baseline exchanges, controlling play with 25 winners to just nine unforced errors.
In the opening match, Matteo Arnaldi defeated Alexei Popyrin 7-5 2-6 6-4 to give his teammate the perfect platform to swing freely. In a match that lasted two hours 27 minutes, the momentum shifted as the Italian edged a tight opening set before dropping his serve twice in the second to allow the Australian back in. “It has been an incredible feeling I think for all of us and obviously we are really happy. 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,” Sinner was quoted as saying by ATP.
It was vindication for the former Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier, who squandered three match points against Botic van de Zandschulp in Italy’s 2-1 win over The Netherlands.
“I didn’t play much in the last few weeks, so I was happy after the first match even if I lost. Now I have won one of the most important matches in my life,” Arnaldi said.
Italian captain Filippo Volandri, who oversaw Italy’s second Davis Cup title run, said, “Really thankful to have these guys. Really proud to have these guys. You’ve been here for all these two years and I really have to say thanks to the crowds, to Italy, for all the support they gave us. We had to manage with a lot of emergencies in these two years, but we did it and we did it like a family.” (ANI)