Zverev, Struff Combine To Give Germany Victory Over USA
After dropping just seven games to World No. 12 Cameron Norrie in his opening match Sunday, the World No. 3 broke Taylor Fritz early in both sets en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory after finally holding serve in a tense final game.
“Until the last game it was a good level for my second match of year,” Zverev said. “It was very intense and hard hitting. The most important thing is that Team Germany won and we have given ourselves the best chance of reaching the semis.”
Germany’s win could potentially create an intriguing semi-final battle in Group C, in which all four teams (Germany, USA, Canada and Great Britain) will be locked on 1-1 records if Canada defeats Great Britain tonight on Ken Rosewall Arena.
Zverev’s form is in stark contrast to his first two ATP Cup appearances, in which he won just one of six singles matches. But the 24-year-old has brought into the new season his outstanding 2021 form, which saw him win a tour-leading six titles, including Olympic gold and his second Nitto ATP Finals title.
Isner had fought off all seven break points faced, including two match points, before Struff finally converted his third match point after hitting a clean forehand winner deep into the ad court.
“It’s always tough against John,” Struff said. “I had played him five times [four times at Tour-level] before and lost five times. So I’m very happy to get the win for my team today.
“It’s not just his own serve that makes it tough. You have to focus on your own serve because if you get broken it’s very tough to come back. I was very happy how I played and competed.”
ATP Cup format sees the No. 2 singles played first, followed by the No. 1 singles and the doubles. Doubles uses no-ad scoring and a match tie-break in place of a third set.
Each country plays three matches in group play from 1-6 January across Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park. One team emerges from each of the four groups to contest the two semi-finals, which will be split over two days (7-8 January), with the final played 9 January.