Davis Cup: Italy claim first title since 1976!

Matteo Arnaldi and Jannik Sinner led Italy toward their first crown in 47 years

by Jovica Ilic
Davis Cup: Italy claim first title since 1976!
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Italy claimed its first Davis Cup crown since 1976, beating Australia 2-0 in Malaga! Matteo Arnaldi and Jannik Sinner claimed singles victories over Alexei Popyrin and Alex de Minaur, leading their country toward the trophy.

Matteo Arnaldi played five Davis Cup ties this year, gathering experience and earning a valuable victory in the title clash. Arnaldi battled against Alexei Popyrin and scored a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win in two hours and 27 minutes, pushing Italy in front and closer to the finish line.

The Italian served at 50% and hit nine double faults. He played against 16 break points and defended 13, making the crucial difference in that area. Popyrin wasted his chances on the return and lost serve three times from 11 opportunities offered to his rival.

The Aussie squandered his chances in the decider, creating break points in four return games but squandering them before getting broken at 4-5, propelling the Italian over the top.

Matteo Arnaldi and Jannik Sinner claimed the Davis Cup crown for Italy.

They traded breaks in the middle of the opening set before Popyrin faced three set points on serve in the tenth game.

He denied them and claimed five consecutive points to lock the result at 5-5. Arnaldi denied two break points in the 11th game and survived Popyrin's two game points in the next one. Matteo prolonged the game and seized the fourth set point for a 7-5.

Alexei stepped in at the beginning of the second set, delivering two consecutive breaks and fending off a break point in game four for 4-0. Arnaldi fended off two set points in the seventh game before Popyrin wrapped up the set with a hold in game eight.

The Aussie had a chance to use that momentum and forge the advantage in the final set. He squandered break points in games one, three and seven, keeping his rival on the positive side. Arnaldi missed a break point in game eight and saved one a few minutes later, surviving another challenging service game.

The Italian grabbed a crucial break in game ten, taking the set 6-4 and pushing his country in front. An in-form Jannik Sinner saved his country against Serbia in the semi-final on Saturday. World no. 4 delivered the second point for Italy on Sunday against Alex de Minaur, toppling the Aussie 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and 21 minutes, propelling Italy over the top.

Sinner claimed over half of the return points and turned them into five breaks from ten chances. De Minaur faded from the court after the opener, never standing as a serious opponent and allowing Sinner to wrap up a perfect week with a bagel.

Davis Cup Matteo Arnaldi Jannik Sinner