Home nation Australia became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals at the ATP Cup after they swept past a tough Canada team 3-0 in Brisbane on Sunday.
Nick Kyrgios went down with a back injury but John Millman filled in and beat up on youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s always difficult, a late call up, but it doesn’t get much easier in a difficult circumstance than when you get to play here in Brisbane, a place where you’re familiar with the court and the surroundings and you know that you’re going to have a vocal crowd in your corner,” Millman said.
It was then Alex De Minaur’s chance to clinch and he did just that edging Denis Shapovalov 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2.
“I managed to turn things around, get back into a positive mindset, get my energy back,” said De Minaur. “I think it’s all energy. It’s good that in the back of my head I know that all the hard work I’ve put in in the pre-season, so I know that my body’s ready to keep on going for however long it takes.”
Despite a poor effort from Alexander Zverev, Germany advanced over Greece 2-1 behind Jan-Lennard Struff and a doubles win. After 10 double faults, Zverev fell to Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-4.
“My serving isn’t back yet. Simple as that,” Zverev said. “I’m doing double faults. I’m serving 120 kilometers an hour, that’s not really going to cut it.”
In two matches this year, Zverev has already hit 24 double faults.
In Sydney, Grigor Dimitrov helped Bulgaria beat Moldova 2-1 and Great Britain stayed alive with a win over Belgium.
Over in Perth, the U.S. was eliminated by Russia who rolled past the Americans 3-0. Daniil Medvedev cruised past John Isner 6-3, 6-1 while Karen Khachanov came back to beat Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
“I think I played great,” said Medvedev. “To beat John with such score is a really great achievement. I knew before the match I just had to try return as much as possible. It worked out well. On my serve, I had only one tight game, missed some first serves. If not, I think the match was under my control. So I’m really happy for the team that we got the important win.
“I was really expecting some maybe three tie-breaks or something like that. I played Opelka last year in three tie-breaks. I played Raonic with tiebreaks. I’m really happy that I managed to kind of read his serve, returned really well and win without a tiebreak.”
Isner managed just four games.
“I got my ass kicked out there,” said Isner. “He did what he does well, which is make a lot of balls, that’s kind of how he was playing last year. I wasn’t even close tonight. Generally, with my game, I can keep matches close and make it depend on a few points here or there, but that wasn’t the case tonight… I didn’t quite serve as well as I needed to, there’s no doubt. I can certainly serve better.”
Italy was also a winner over Norway.
On tap Monday, Rafael Nadal returns to action in Perth where Spain meets Uruguay. Nadal faces Pablo Cuevas.
And in Brisbane, Novak Djokovic will lead Serbia against Gael Monfils and France.
MONDAY DAY 4 ATP CUP SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS
Perth: Nadal v Cuevas (ESP-URU)
Brisbane: Djokovic v Monfils (SRB-FRA)
Sydney: Thiem v Schwartzman (AUT-ARG)
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