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Tennis News • Australia And Canada Win First Rounds At Inaugural ATP Cup • USA And Britain Lose

Australia, Canada take care of business at ATP Cup, but some surprises headline Day 1

By Ricky Dimon

Australia and Canada are expected to be two of the titans at the inaugural ATP Cup. Following Day 1 action, none of that has changed.

Host nation Australia kicked off the proceedings with a 3-0 victory over Germany on Friday evening. In singles, Nick Kyrgios got the best of Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6(4) and Alex de Minaur beat Alexander Zverev 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2. Having already clinched the overall match, the Australians still produced a victory in doubles as John Peers and Chris Guccione defeated Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-3, 6-4.

“It was a very good match to start the year, start the new season,” de Minaur noted. “It’s never easy. You got the added nerves of just a new year, and you’re playing for your country, so all of that together made it a bit more nerve wracking. So I’m [glad] I was able to settle the nerves and get a win for myself and for Australia.”

“First match of the year is always going to be tough,” Kyrgios assessed. “To be honest, I was actually pretty happy with my performance. Obviously I served well in crucial moments.”

Felix Auger-Aliassime got the Canadians started on the right foot with a not at all surprising 6-1, 6-3 rout of Michail Pervolarakis. In arguably the biggest head-to-head match of the entire day, Denis Shapovalov knock off Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(6), 7-6(4). Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov then teamed up in doubles to defeat Tsitsipas and Pervolarakis 6-2, 6-3.

“It’s always amazing to be part of the team and have kind of a team feeling,” commented Shapovalov, who led his country to a runner-up finish at the recent 2019 Davis Cup Finals. “It’s pretty rare on the tour, so I definitely love it and I always feel like I thrive off that atmosphere. So, yeah, I’m really happy, happy with the result today.”

Perhaps no one was happier than Noway and Bulgaria. The Norwegians, led by Casper Ruud, stunned the United States 2-1–highlighted by Ruud’s three-set win over John Isner.

Grigor Dimitrov and the Bulgarians upset Great Britain 2-1. Dimitrov teamed up with little-known Alexandar Lazarov to shock Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 11-9 in a decisive doubles rubber.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editors Note • We Love David Macpherson, he is a great coach. But what’s an Aussie doing coaching the American team? Yes, we’d understand if the Bryan Brothers were playing, but it seems like a funny choice. Was it John Isner’s call?

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