After defeating Australia 2-0 in the Davis Cup final in Malaga, Italy won the trophy. In the second singles rubber, Jannik Sinner put on a commanding display, demolishing Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-0 to complete the victory. The championship-clinching victory followed Matteo Arnaldi’s hard-fought win against Alexei Popyrin in the opening clash, where Arnaldi emerged triumphant with a scoreline of 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
In Saturday’s semifinal matchup against Serbia, the No. 4 Sinner defeated top-ranked Novak Djokovic in both the singles and doubles categories. It took the 22-year-old Italian one hour and twenty-one minutes to complete Italy’s triumph over Australia.
“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 beaten nine top-10 players since September, though he lost to Djokovic in the ATP Tour Finals a week ago. Also read: Tennis Umpire Gets 10-Year Ban Following Unethical Betting
“I felt quite good today … this is a really important win for me, the whole team and Italy together. This is something different, really special, because you don’t play for yourself, you play for the whole team,” said Sinner.
The Italian, who is rated 12th in the world, proved he is the better man, winning in a just 81 minutes. Italy made an incredible comeback on the way to winning the championship.
Australia’s aspirations were scuppered by De Minaur’s valiant ground-strokes against Sinner. Sinner, facing elimination on Saturday, forced a decisive doubles encounter against Djokovic and finally won it because to his three match points saved. Also read: Wimbledon’s Grand Vision: A New Stadium and 38 Courts
“There hasn’t been another nation that’s gone back-to-back in the last two years, so we are showing a pretty good effort collectively,” De Miñaur said. “We are very, very close. It stinks like hell. We’ll be back. We’ll get this. I mean, we’ve got a very, very strong future ahead of us.”
Arnaldi, emotional after his crucial win in the opening match, acknowledged the tough competition and the significance of his victory. “I think I won one of the most important matches in my life. I don’t know what to say right now,” he said. Also read: Davis Cup Finals: Australia Beats Finland To Reach Second Straight Final
With the Davis Cup triumph, Italian tennis has completed an incredible year. Their women’s team placed second in the Billie Jean King Cup. With a 47-year gap between victories, Italy’s Davis Cup victory is the third-longest title drought in the competition’s history.