John Isner and Taylor Fritz beat their Canadian opponents on Sunday to give the United States a 2-0 lead in their ATP Cup game.
Isner beat Brayden Schnur 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes to give the Americans the lead. Schnur belatedly replaced Denis Shapovalov, who withdrew from Sunday’s opener due to fatigue. The Canadian is recovering from contracting COVID-19 during a recent tournament in the Middle East.
Fritz then came back from a set down to beat 11th Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4 and win the match before the double.
Isner saved the only breaking point he faced.
“I surprised myself how well I played here,” Isner said during his interview on the pitch. “You always work hard in the offseason, but you never really know what might happen in that first game of the year.”
Isner broke twice in the first set and used his solid serve to capitalize on the advantage. The American hit 10 aces and won 46% of his return points.
“In fact, I really like this field. It’s not too fast, which is what I prefer. It gives me a little time to swing on my shots that are so big. It helps me a lot, ”Isner said.
In Sunday’s match the other day, defending champions Russia got off to a good start when Roman Safiullin beat Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.
In the night games, Italy faced Australia and Germany faced Great Britain.
On opening day on Saturday, Argentina and Spain both claimed 3-0 victories over Georgia and Chile, respectively. Serbia, despite playing without No.1 Novak Djokovic, beat Norway 2-1 and Poland took advantage of Stefanos Tsitsipas’s absence in singles to beat Greece 2-1.
The 16 teams split into four groups, with the winners of each group advancing to the semi-finals on January 7 and 8. The final is scheduled for January 9.
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