Sinner leads Italy to 1st Davis Cup title in nearly 50 years
MALAGA, Spain (AP) — Jannik Sinner capped his perfect week by leading Italy to its first Davis Cup title in nearly five decades.
Sinner took his record to 5-0 this week by beating Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-0 in the second singles match of Sunday's final, giving Italy a 2-0 win over Australia for its first Davis Cup title since 1976.
Matteo Arnaldi had given Italy the first point with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win over Alexei Popyrin.
The No. 4 Sinner beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the singles and doubles matches in Saturday's semifinal showdown against Serbia.
The 22-year-old Italian needed 1 hour, 21 minutes to seal Italy's victory against Australia.
Arnaldi earlier saved eight break points before getting a break of his own to close out the first match in the decisive third set.
"I think I won one of the most important matches of my life," the 44th-ranked Arnaldi said.
The Italians, who had never won the title other than in 1976, had lost the three finals it played against Australia, which was last year's runner-up to Canada.
Australia eliminated Finland in the last four this year. The Aussies are 28-time champions but haven't lifted the trophy of tennis' top team event since captain Lleyton Hewitt was on the winning squad as a player in 2003.
Australia this year became just the second nation to win 200 Davis Cup ties, with the United States being the other.
AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis