ATP Cup men's tennis: Shapovalov leads Canada to victory

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Stefanos Tsitsipas whipped an error-strewn Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-4 to win the battle of the big guns at the ATP Cup yesterday, inflicting a second successive defeat on the 22-year-old German.

Hosts Australia - led by world No.18 Alex de Minaur - take on Germany in Friday's evening session in Brisbane.

The Canadians swept Greece 3-0, with Denis Shapolvalov holding off No. 6-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) after 19-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Michail Pervolarakis in the first singles victory of the tournament.

Like many times before, it was a turning point in the rivalry between the youngest top-10 stars and the ATP Finals champions from the previous two seasons, with the Greek scoring five straight wins over the German, delivering the latest one on Sunday night in Brisbane.

"His serve was better than mine and a few points in the tiebreak, I didn't work out what I had to do and I didn't have a clear picture of how I have to play", said the Greek.

Alexander Zverev berated his father and a bewildered Boris Becker as his problems on serve cost him against Stefanos Tsitsipas. "I woke up a bit sore in my arm and I was being a little bit stressed before the match because I didn't know if I'm going to be able to serve, but I served okay".

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece plays a shot during his match against Denis Shapovalov of Canada at the ATP Cup tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

Tsitsipas returned to the Pat Rafter Arena for the deciding doubles but went down 3-6 6-3 (17-15) as Greece suffered their second loss in the inaugural $15 million ATP Cup, which features 24 nations competing in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney over 10 days.

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"I got my ass kicked out there", said an honest Isner, who had previously let two match points slip away against Casper Ruud in the loss to Norway.

In Perth, Russia beat Italy after Norway rallied to edge the United States in Group D.

And the USA had their fate sealed when John Isner was humbled by Daniil Medvedev, the world number five only needing one hour to win 6-3 6-1. He then backed up in the decisive doubles alongside Viktor Durasovic to ensure the win.

"Coming here and beating two top 20 players at the beginning of the year is great for my confidence", said world number 54 Ruud.

Like compatriot Nick Kyrgios he has pledged to give money for every ace he hits in the tournament to the victims of the Australian bush fire, although he only managed two in this match.

In Sydney, Belgium secured the best-of-three match against Moldova, the last team to qualify, when Steve Darcis held off Alexander Cozbinov 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-5 and David Goffin beat Radu Albot 6-4, 6-1.

"For me, it's very challenging to go out there and compete against them".