ATP Cup: Mighty Italy tops France to advance into the semis



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ATP Cup: Mighty Italy tops France to advance into the semis

Italy is the first team that has secured the ATP Cup semi-final berth following victories over Austria and France. On Tuesday, Matteo Berrettini beat Dominic Thiem twice to make a great start for his country, repeating that on Wednesday and following Fabio Fognini's pace to push Italy into the last four.

Still not competing at 100%, Fognini suffered an easy loss on Tuesday before bouncing back today against Benoit Paire, beating the Frenchman 6-1, 7-6 in an hour and 18 minutes. The Italian hit 19 winners and 15 unforced errors, saved seven out of nine break points and stole Paire's serve five times to send his country ahead.

Benoit hit four double faults in a row in the third game to lose serve and momentum, squandered two break chances in the next game and suffered two more breaks to find himself 6-1 down after 22 minutes. The Italian won the opening three games of the second set for complete domination before Paire finally showed why he entered the French squad, taking five straight games to open a 5-3 lead.

Benoit served for the set at 5-4, but Fabio found a way to break him with a forehand down the line winner and level the score at 5-5. With a boost on his side, Fognini grabbed a tie break 7-2 to seal the deal and move Italy in front.

For the second straight day, Matteo Berrettini produced inspiring tennis to wrap up Italy's victory and drive his team into the semis.

Italy defeated France to secure the ATP Cup semi-final spot.

Matteo ousted Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes, dominating despite the fact he served at only 48%.

Monfils sprayed over 30 unforced errors and got broken five times from eight chances offered to Berrettini. The Frenchman was off to a better start, forging a 4-1 advantage with an ace after 15 minutes. Berrettini pulled the break back in game seven, fended off three break chances in the next one to level the score and took control with the second break at 4-4 when Gael landed a forehand long.

Serving for the set, Matteo held at love to win it 6-4 after 42 minutes. The Italian had the momentum now and used it nicely, scoring three straight breaks in set number two and sealing the deal with a smash winner at 5-2.