ATP Cup: Berrettini, Fognini help Italy seal semi-final spot

Italy have sealed a spot in the semi-finals of the ATP Cup after Matteo Berrettini defeated Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-2 to seal his country’s tie against France.

Berrettini has dominated at Melbourne Park, defeating two of the top 11 players — Dominic Thiem and Monfils — to lead his country out of Group C.

“It’s a great team, great guys. We are enjoying on court, but off court as well. I think when you’re playing for your country, for your team, it’s something special,” the ATP Tour website quoted Berrettini said in his on-court interview. “Definitely this is a competition that I missed last year and this year I was really looking forward to playing. I’m happy to be here and really happy for my team because we are through to the semi-finals.”

Earlier in the day, Fabio Fognini — won just five games in his ATP Cup opener Tuesday — battled past Benoit Paire 6-1, 7-6(2) and give Italy a 1-0 lead.

Although Fognini nearly let slip a 6-1, 3-0 advantage, he registered win in straight sets after one hour and 19 minutes.

“For sure I’m happy about my performance,” Fognini said in his on-court interview. “The second set was really tough.”

In the doubles match, French stars Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin earned a win for their country by beating Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori 6-3, 6-4 in 67 minutes. However, Italy ultimately defeated France 2-1 in the tie.

The 2021 ATP Cup is featuring 14 of the top 15 players in the ATP rankings. Novak Djokovic’s Serbia and Rafael Nadal’s Spain will compete against Austria, Russia, Greece, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and Australia in the 12-team competition.

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