Italy wins 2023 Davis Cup
November 28, 2023
For the second straight year Australia got all the way to the Davis Cup final, but came up short. After losing a year ago to Canada in Malaga, Spain, Australia lost two matches to none to Italy on Sunday.
In the first match of the best of three tie in Malaga a day ago, Matteo Arnaldi of Italy beat Alexei Popyrin of Sydney, Australia, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Then Jannik Sinner of Italy steamrolled past Alex de Minaur of Sydney, 6-3, 6-0. As a result, the deciding doubles match did not need to be played. If Australia and Italy had split the singles matches, the scheduled matchup would have been Matthew Ebden of Perth, Australia and Max Purcell of Sydney, against Simone Bolelli and Lorenzo Sonego.
This was the third time Arnaldi had faced Popyrin. Prior to Sunday, Popyrin beat Arnaldi 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals of Croatia in July. Then Arnaldi beat Popyrin 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of Shanghai earlier this fall. On a side note, Popyrin went on to win the 2023 Croatia Open. In the final, he defeated three-time grand slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.
What we saw on Sunday, was a very competitive match, and an absolute blow out. The fact that Popyrin and Arnaldi went to a third and deciding set was no surprise because they went to three sets twice previously. The key statistic in the Popyrin/Arnaldi match was unforced errors. Arnaldi had 22, while Popyrin had 28.
The story of the day was the pure dominance of Sinner, the world number four. Sinner broke de Minaur five times, and had 18 forehand winners, compared to only six for de Minaur.
This was Italy’s second Davis Cup title. They previously won in 1976 in Santiago, Chile.
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