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Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini both clocked solid victories on Tuesday as they ramped up preparations for the Australian Open by keeping Germany and Italy on track at the ATP Cup.

Zverev, the German world number three, won 6-4, 6-4 against American Taylor Fritz, his second consecutive victory in the new season.

After a seven-game loss to World No. 12 Cameron Norrie in his first match on Sunday, the World No. 3 broke Taylor Fritz early in both sets on his way to a 6-4, 6-4 triumph after ultimately holding service in a dramatic final game.

“It was at a decent level until the last game, my second match of the year,” Zverev remarked. “It was an extremely intensive and hard-hitting experience.” The most important thing is that Team Germany won, and we now have the best chance of making the semi-finals. ”

Germany’s ATP Cup hopes were alive after they were defeated by Britain in their opening match, with only the top nation from each of the four groups continuing to the knockouts.

Last year’s runner-up, Italy, was defeated by Australia on Sunday, partly due to Berrettini’s loss in straight sets to Di Minaur.

Meanwhile, seventh-ranked Italian Berrettini recovered from a shock loss to Australia’s Alex Di Minaur on Sunday by defeating Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), who beat US Open winner Daniil Medvedev at the weekend.

Berrettini, a two-time Nitto ATP Finals contender, lost his first match of the season in straight sets to Alex de Minaur, although he dominated with his serve at Qudos Bank Arena.

The 25-year-old smashed 18 aces and won 85% of his first-serve points as Italy tied the match at 1-1. After hitting his 18th ace out wide to seal the victory, he gestured with his right arm the drop of a hammer, which he accomplished throughout the match.

I didn’t look at the stats, but I was feeling okay. I thought the flow was great, and I hit a bunch of aces. “You don’t feel weary when you serve like this, so I was better prepared when it came time to return,” Berrettini explained. “It’s a major weapon I have, and when it works like this, it really benefits me.”

Alessandro Sinner got Italy off to a good start with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Arthur Rinderknech, giving his team a 1-0 lead. After one hour and 37 minutes, the world No. 10 recovered from a breakdown in the second set to win.

“It’s never easy playing against him, and this was the third time.” I was in charge of the opening set. I eased up on the intensity in the second set. Sinner said, “He’s serving extremely well, so I was in difficulty.” However, happily, I discovered a method.

Sinner currently has a 2-1 ATP Head2Head advantage against the duo. Rinderknech overcame his younger opponent on clay in Lyon last year and looked poised to pull off another shock in Sydney when he broke in the second set.

The Frenchman was playing aggressively, using his powerful serve to keep Sinner at bay from the baseline. However, one error allowed the Italian to regain serve, which proved crucial.

Berrettini and Sinner won their first doubles match together, defeating veterans Fabrice Martin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-7 (7), 10-8.

Sinner said of his connection with Berrettini, “It was an honour to play with him.” “We are both excellent singles players, but I believe we both have room to develop in doubles.” We had a good time today because it was the first one. Hopefully, this is the beginning of many. ”

France is currently 0-2 in the ATP Cup this year, having previously lost to Russia. Russia and Australia will clash at Qudos Bank Arena on Tuesday evening, each with a 1-0 lead.

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