US beats Britain to advance to United Cup mixed teams semis

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United States' Frances Tiafoe, left, is congratulated by Great Britain's team captain Tim Henman after defeating Britain's Daniel Evans in their match at the United Cup tennis event in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

SYDNEY – Frances Tiafoe beat Britain’s Daniel Evans 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday to move the United States into the United Cup mixed teams tournament semifinals.

Tiafoe’s victory gave the Americans an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five Sydney City Final.

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It means the U.S. will be among four teams in the semifinal portion of the tournament that begins Friday at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

Earlier, world No. 3 Jessica Pegula gave the United States a 2-1 lead by beating Britain’s Harriet Dart 6-2, 6-0.

In the afternoon session, Madison Keys moved the U.S. ahead after rallying from a set down to defeat Katie Swan 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. But world No. 14 Cameron Norrie came back to post a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win against No. 9 Taylor Fritz to level the match.

Pegula and Fritz then won the final mixed doubles match to wrap up the 4-1 U.S. win.

“I think Madi really set the tone with her match,” Pegula said. “I think I did everything really well today. I could feel it. Some days you come out firing and you feel really good. I was honestly trying to settle myself down because I was seeing the ball really well today.”

Poland and Greece won deciding mixed doubles matches to advance 3-2.

Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz defeated Camilla Rosatello and Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 6-1 to lead Poland past Italy in the Brisbane City Final.

It was Swiatek's second win on the day after the World No. 1 beat Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-4 to pull Poland even at 1-1 following Musetti's win over Daniel Michalski in the opening match.

Matteo Berrettini then beat Hurkacz 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to give Italy a 2-1 before Poland's Magda Linette forced the decider by beating Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-2.

”(It feels) amazing, honestly. I don’t know. I think it’s better winning in a team than individually. I’m so happy that we did it together and team effort for sure paid off,” Swiatek said. “Today’s match was pretty stressful because we (don’t) play mixed doubles usually.

“But I’m so happy that I was able to play a solid game and Hubi was pushing our opponents and really making it easy for me. So I’m really happy that we played such a nice game.”

Greece moved on from the Perth City Final as Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Croatia's Borna Gojo and Petra Martic 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Donna Vekic beat Despina Papamichail 6-2, 6-0 to put Croatia ahead before Tsitsipas beat Borna Coric 6-0, 6-7 (4), 7-5 on his sixth match point.

Sakkari then gave Greece a 2-1 lead by beating Martic 6-3, 6-3, before Gojo's 6-4, 6-2 win over Stefanos Sakellaridis set up the mixed double decider.

Despite its loss, Italy still qualified as the next best-ranked team and will join the U.S., Poland and Greece in Sydney.


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