Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Fritz blasts past Zverev as USA leads Germany at United Cup

SYDNEY (AP) – Taylor Fritz took advantage of a dominant serve to beat Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-4 as the United States (US) moved past Germany yesterday to reach the City Finals at the United Cup mixed teams event in Sydney.

Team USA will qualify from Group C to face Great Britain in tomorrow’s City Finals. Team GB have a 2-0 record in Group D after wins over Australia and Spain.

The winner of the City Finals will advance to the United Cup Final Four, which begins on Friday in Sydney.

Ninth-ranked Fritz won 96 per cent (26/27) of first serve points and backed that up with accurate ball-striking to beat 12th-ranked Zverev in 64 minutes. He raced to an early lead, winning the first five games of the match as he stepped into the court to finish points set up by his serve.

He kept the pressure on to beat Zverev who was playing for only the second time since June when he damaged ligaments in his right ankle during his semifinal against Rafael Nadal at the French Open.

United States’ Taylor Fritz plays a forehand return to Germany’s Alexander. PHOTO: AP

The 25-year-old Fritz is now 3-4 in head to head meetings with Zverev and is 2-0 at the United Cup after beating Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic in his opening match.

Madison Keys followed Fritz on court and extended the US’ lead to 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Jule Niemeier, her second victory of the season.

Keys comfortably won yesterday’s clash of baseliners in just over 70 minutes, her power and pinpoint serving proving too much for the 23-year-old German.

While Keys served at 77 per cent and lost just six points behind her first serve, Niemeier struggled with her serve and opened with three double faults to give her opponent an early break.