Sydney [Australia], January 2 (ANI): Taylor Fritz rallied to win his match on Sunday as the United States defeat Canada at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.
The American let slip four set points in the opening-set tie-break, but recovered to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 and clinched the United States' victory against Canada.
John Isner had given his country a 1-0 lead with a straight-set triumph against Brayden Schnur, who replaced Denis Shapovalov.
"We're feeling really good," Fritz said in his on-court interview. "When we played in 2020, we didn't win a match, so first win for Team USA at the ATP Cup. It feels good."
Fritz appeared in control of the first-set tie-break when he led 6/2, but watched his lead evaporate as Auger-Aliassime took control of points with his forehand. But instead of allowing his frustration to absorb him, Fritz got right back to playing the tennis that gave him the lead in the first place.
"I definitely deserved to win the [first] set. I basically did everything but win it," Fritz said. "I knew that it was obviously really important for the team and also really [important] for me and I felt like I played pretty well in the first set, but I felt like I could play even better. So I just kind of focused on that and told myself to just kind of do the same thing I just did and win the next two sets."
Over the next two sets, Auger-Aliassime made untimely errors from the baseline and after doing so, would often back off and refrain from going for too much, which allowed Fritz to dominate with his forehand. After Felix missed a final backhand slice long, Fritz let out a big "Come on!" as the crowd cheered.
"It's been coming together and I feel like my level has gotten a lot better recently," Fritz said of his game. "I'm excited for this year."
Isner made a quick start for the United States earlier in the day when he defeated Canada's Schnur 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes.
The American had to scramble at the last moment when he learned he would play Schnur instead of Shapovalov, who withdrew from the tie's No. 2 singles match due to fatigue. But the 36-year-old took care of business with a comprehensive performance in which he saved the only break point he faced.
"I surprised myself with how well I played out here," Isner said in his on-court interview. "You always work hard in the offseason, but you never really know what could happen in that first match of the year."
Isner broke twice in the first set and used his booming serve to capitalise on the advantage. The American never looked back, hitting 10 aces and winning 46 per cent of his return points in his victory inside Qudos Bank Arena.
"I actually really like this court. It's not too fast, which I prefer. It gives me a little time to swing out on my shots being so big. That helps me out a lot," Isner said. "We're off to a good start, hopefully we can keep this going."
In the doubles match, Fritz and Isner defeated Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4. (ANI)