SYDNEY: Taylor Fritz bordered Matteo Berretini 7-6(4), 7-6(6) as USA vindicated their status as favorites to outclass Italy in a one-sided final in the first Solid cut mixed team tournament on Sunday.
Going into game three with his team 2-0 down and needing one more win to claim the $15 million event, world number nine Fritz won the first set when his big shot opponent found the net in a tight tie-break.
Indian Wells champion Fritz squandered five break chances in the following set but kept his composure in another tiebreaker, sparking wild American celebrations to the side of the pitch and in the stands.
“It’s great. It’s amazing for the team to win this event. We came in with really high hopes, or at least I did,” Fritz said. “I was really happy to be in this position to win the game.
“Just the emotions when you win and everyone is rushing towards you, it’s amazing. I don’t know if you saw the replay, but Frances Tiafoe basically gave me a whim.”
Madison Keys went 4-0 by beating Lucia Bronzetti 6-3, 6-2 to kick off another round of celebrations as her teammates swapped champagne for water and dunked the world number 11.
Earlier, Lorenzo Musetti’s withdrawal from his match with Tiafoe gave the United States a 2-0 lead after Jessica Pegula defeated Martina Trevisan 6-4, 6-2 at Ken Rosewall Arena.
A shoulder injury forced Musetti, 20, to concede to Tiafoe after his first serve of the second set. The Italian lost the opener 6-2.
Tiafoe, ranked 19th in the world, struggled to win her first service game before breaking the third game and advancing to the first set.
Musetti, however, struggled and, after trying to play after treatment, he crossed the net to concede.
Pegula overcame Trevisan, winning the first set 6-4 as both players struggled on serve. She took command in the second set, winning the first five games before ending a late fightback from her opponent to prevail.
Victory in the season-opening tournament that started with 18 nations in six groups in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane extended America’s dominance of team tennis events.
The Americans lead the standings with the most Davis Cup titles (32), Billie Jean King Cup (18) and Hopman Cup (6).
Although the tournament has been praised for bringing together players from both the men’s and women’s circuits, its continued popularity will depend on how organizers adjust the format to reduce dead rubbers.
The United States also took full advantage of playing in Sydney throughout, while semi-final opponents Poland and Italy both traveled to the city halfway through the event for the last four steps.

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