Italy Defeats USA To Start Davis Cup Finals Campaign

Lorenzo Sonego (photo: Jose Manuel Alvarez / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

TURIN/STARNBERG/USTA Press Release, November 26, 2021

Italians Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego played off their home crowd in Turin to lift the host nation to a 2-1 victory over the United States in the opening Group E tie in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals on Friday, though Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram gave the US-Americans a fighting chance to still advance to the quarterfinals.

Italy swept the day’s singles behind the efforts of the 27th-ranked Sonego and the 20-year-old rising star in Sinner. Sonego played an inspired match in front of a mostly full and lively crowd in the Pala Alpitour arena to defeat Reilly Opelka, 6-3, 7-6(4) after one hour and 13 minutes.

“It was not easy,” Sonego said. “It was the first time for me competing at the Davis Cup and I am really happy about the match. Thank you everyone.”

Then, World No. 10 Sinner, who played in the ATP Finals in the same arena a week ago, played a near-flawless match befitting his talent to defeat the Davis Cup veteran John Isner, 6-2, 6-0 in 63 minutes.

“Playing here was very special,” Sinner said. “Today we have won already, which is great. We have a great team and everyone is a great guy as well, so we are just trying to stay together. I am very honoured to be a part of this.”

In the doubles rubber, Ram and Sock salvaged the tie with a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli that could factor into a tiebreak scenario should the US-Americans be in position to reach the quarterfinals as one of the two Group runner-up nations. Matches, sets and games won are what determines which two nations advance from the pool of six runners up.

Italy and Colombia will play on Saturday. Should Italy win that tie, they would win Group E and advance to Monday’s Quarterfinal in Turin against the winner of Group D – Australia, Croatia and Hungary.

The United States’ second Group tie against Colombia will be played on Sunday.