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By Alberto Amalfi | Friday January 3, 2020

 
Alex deMinaur

A defiant Alex de Minaur battled back from a set and 2-4 down stunning Alexander Zverev 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 to seal Australia's ATP Cup sweep of Germany.

Photo credit: ATP Cup Instagram

Alex de Minaur returned to the scene of an excruciating loss to propel Australia to an exhilarating victory.

Winless in four prior meetings vs. Alexander Zverev, a defiant de Minaur battled back from a set and 2-4 down stunning the German No. 1 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 before a wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.

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De Minaur's first win in four clashes vs. Zverev clinched Australia's 3-0 sweep of Germany in Group F action of the inaugural ATP Cup.

“This one for me was a really important match,” de Minaur said. “What I'm proud of today is about finding a way to win [against] an opponent who was hitting the ball big, was serving better.

"I wasn't getting a lot of free points on my serve, so I just had to try and find ways to win points out there."



Australian No. 2 Nick Kyrgios cranked 20 aces defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Kyrgios, who has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he hits during this Australian summer season to victims of the nation's bushfires, served 73 percent, won 40 of 46 first-serve points and did not face a break point in a 72-minute victory. 

Afterward, Kyrgios grew emotional calling the fires, which have killed at least 17 people and destroyed 1,000 homes, "pretty sad."



Two years ago, Zverev edged de Minaur 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 7-6(4) leading Germany to a 3-1 victory over Australia in the Davis Cup World Group first-round tie at Pat Rafter Arena.

In this rematch, the 20-year-old Aussie exploited 14 double faults from Zverev to spark his comeback. De Minaur denied seven of 10 break points scoring his fourth career Top 10 victory in 17 attempts. 

“It wasn't easy and it was a very good match to start the year, start the new season," de Minaur said. "It's never easy. You got the added nerves of just a new year, and you're playing for your country, so all of that together made it a bit more nerve wracking. So I'm [glad] I was able to settle the nerves and get a win for myself and for Australia.”



In the doubles rubber, Chris Guccione and John Peers stopped Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-3, 6-4 to complete the shutout.

The 24-team event is being contested in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney round-robin stages through January 12th.

The six winners of each group and the top two second-place finishers advance to the Final Eight beginning on Thursday in Sydney.

 

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