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Scintillating Sinner Leads Italy To Davis Cup Title
Jannik Sinner has capped his breathtaking finish to his banner 2023 season by leading Italy to its first Davis Cup title since 1976 after defeating Australian Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-0 in Malaga on Sunday night.
After saving three match points to defeat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-finals, Sinner converted the 1-0 lead provided by Matteo Arnaldi’s three-set win over Alexei Popyrin into a championship-clinching result with his crushing victory over De Minaur, whom he now leads 6-0 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.
Following the US Open, Sinner won 20 of his last 22 matches of the season, a run that included ATP 500 titles in Beijing and Vienna, and a runner-up finish in the Nitto ATP Finals to Djokovic, whom he beat in an epic three-setter in group play in Turin.
Sinner, 22, finishes the year with a personal-best 64-15 record on the season and at a year-end career-high No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings..
Earlier in the day Arnaldi gave Italy a 1-0 lead after staring down eight break points in the deciding set against Popyrin.
In contrast to the opportunities missed by Popyrin, the 22-year-old seized the moment when presented with his first match point in the 10th game of the decider to emphatically close out a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory in two hours and 27 minutes.
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," Arnaldi said. "Now I have won one of the most important matches in my life."
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