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Canada beats Germany to join Russia in ATP Cup semifinals

January 6, 2022 GMT
Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada hits a shot against Germany's Alexander Zverev during their match at the ATP Cup tennis tournament in Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
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Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada hits a shot against Germany's Alexander Zverev during their match at the ATP Cup tennis tournament in Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
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Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada hits a shot against Germany's Alexander Zverev during their match at the ATP Cup tennis tournament in Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)

SYDNEY (AP) — Felix Auger-Aliassime sent Canada into the semifinals of the ATP Cup on Thursday by beating third-ranked Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov had set up Auger-Aliassime’s clincher over Germany by downing Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 in the first singles match.

Canada will play defending champion Russia on Saturday. The other semifinalists, Poland and Spain, play on Friday.

“It feels good to beat Zverev,” the 11th-ranked Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. “He’s a great player. He’s beaten me a couple of times before, so I’m happy I was able to get the job done today, especially for the team ... to finish off strong with this group and to win it and to be through to the semis is special.”

The 21-year-old Quebec native squandered four break points at 3-3 in the second set but said he stayed positive.

“Trust me, it’s not always easy to stay positive out there. I was able to do so today and I think that’s why I was able to win in the third set,” he said.

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Canada advanced with a 2-1 win after Germany salvaged a doubles victory.

Earlier, Russia beat Italy 2-1 to advance to the semifinals unbeaten.

Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin stepped up for Russia in the decisive doubles, overcoming Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner 5-7, 6-4, 10-5 to clinch the victory.

Sinner gave Italy the early lead with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Safiullin, but the second-ranked Medvedev leveled the contest with a 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4 win over Berrettini.

“The first set I was in control and it’s tricky because you think that things will continue to go your way but that’s not the case when you’re up against a top 10 player,” Medvedev said. “I made some bad decisions in the second set so I tried to learn from that in the third. I served well throughout the match and that helped me.”

Britain staged a come-from-behind win in doubles to complete a 2-1 victory over the United States, but it was later eliminated when Canada advanced.

Jamie Murray and Dan Evans rallied from a set and a service break down to beat Taylor Fritz and John Isner 6-7 (3), 7-5, 10-8.

“We were just hustling and we kept trying to get the ball back in play and start using our skills after that,” Murray said. “At 4-2 we got a bit of momentum and came down to a tiebreak, which is what it comes down to on a doubles court so many times.”

The final is scheduled for Sunday.

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