Alex de Miñaur gave Australia a first victory in the Davis Cup Finals in Italy, scoring a hard-fought 7-5 2-6 7-6 (2) victory over Hungarian Martin Fucsovics. With Alex Bolt and John Peers following with a doubles victory, Australia completed the round robin tie with a 2-1 win over Hungary.
While the Australian team remains on the brink of elimination from the competition following a 3-0 loss to Croatia on Friday, there were many positives to their last meeting. For De Minaur, the three-set victory over Fucsovics was the perfect way to end a challenging second half of the season.
“(A) nice little confidence booster. It's time to build on that,” said the 22-year-old, who needed more than three hours to secure victory. “I love being part of the team, part of the boys. I mean, for me the end of this year has been very long, I have not obtained results, I have not played as I want.
“After the first day of being with these guys, I mean, my whole morale changed. These guys raised me. I enjoy it myself. We were training hard. This is exactly what I needed to end the year well. I definitely enjoyed this experience."
Australia's second day of play in Turin, Italy began with John Millman replacing Alexei Popyrin in the opening match against world number 282 Zsombor Piros. Rafael Nadal's 2021 season has been derailed by a chronic foot injury.
The Spaniard has suffered from the problem since 2005, and it flared up once again during his semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros.
Arrese opens up on Nadal
Speaking to members of the press following the conclusion of the 2021 US Open, former Spanish tennis player and 1992 Barcelona Olympic silver medalist Jordi Arrese expressed full faith in Rafael Nadal's ability to recover from his injury and make a strong comeback.
"If Rafa recovers, he still has two or three very good years left because he has too good a level and is a mental predator," Arrese was quoted as saying by AS. According to Arrese, the player with the maximum Slam titles will be considered the GOAT.
"Each one may like more or less one, but the one that takes the most 'Grand Slams' is the one they will say is the best," he said. "That fight is between the three of them and although it seems that winning another 'Grand Slam' is close, it is not so easy."