Austria currently leads the ATP Cup Group C following a 2-1 victory over Italy. In the first match, Dennis Novak defeated pale Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 12 minutes, losing serve once and creating numerous chances on the return to keep the pressure on the better-ranked opponent.
Fognini underwent ankles surgery last year, and he is still far from his best, facing ten break points and getting broken four times to hand the victory to the Austrian. In the second match, Matteo Berrettini had to beat Dominic Thiem to keep Italy alive, performing on a high level in a 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes, leveling the overall score and delivering the seventh top-10 triumph.
Thiem was miles away from his best tennis, barely hitting seven winners and never finding a way to move Berrettini from the comfort zone. The Italian faced one break point in the entire encounter and stole the opponent's serve four times to march over the top and set the deciding doubles clash.
Dominic got broken four times in a row to find himself 6-2, 4-0 down, pulling one break back in set number two but falling short in the end.
Italy ousted Austria 2-1 at the ATP Cup.
Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini proved too strong for Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak in the doubles encounter, earning a 6-1, 6-4 victory to push Italy towards the top.
Matteo and Fabio lost only nine points in their games, fending off both break points and stealing the rivals' serve thrice to emerge on the winning side after an hour. Thiem hit a double fault in the fourth game to waste a 40-15 lead and suffer a break, with Berrettini sending the Italians 4-1 ahead after a service winner.
Matteo landed a volley winner at the net in the sixth game to break Novak's serve before Fognini held at 15 for 6-1. Fabio saved two break points in the second set's sixth game to keep Italy on the positive side and placed a volley winner in the next one to steal Novak's serve and take a big step towards the finish line. Serving for the win at 5-4, Fognini held at 15 with a service winner to propel Italy over the top.