Updated1/8/2023 10:43:00 AM
The inaugural United Cup trophy belongs to the United States.
Taylor Fritz clinched the title for his country on Sunday evening when he defeated Matteo Berrettini 7-6(4), 7-6 (6) in a nail-biting duel between two of the biggest hitters on the ATP Tour. Jessica Pegula and Frances Tiafoe each earned a point for the Americans earlier in the day, giving their country an insurmountable 3-0 lead over Italy.
“It’s great. It’s amazing for the team to win this event. We came in with really high hopes, or at least I did, for the event,” Fritz said. “I was really happy to be in that position to clinch the match.”
The United States produced a dominant performance throughout the United Cup, dropping just two individual matches. None of their ties were closer than 4-1.
Fritz capped the team’s run with a poised performance against Berrettini, who had earned Top 10 victories against Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz earlier in the event. The American let slip all nine break points he earned, but did not let that hurt his play in the critical tie-breaks.
The reigning BNP Paribas Open champion was steadier in those crucial moments, triumphing after two hours and 16 minutes.
Berrettini courageously saved the first championship point he faced in the second-set tie-break by crushing a forehand winner. But after switching sides, Fritz won a grueling rally to claim what proved to be the deciding mini break when the Italian missed a forehand on the full stretch.
Fritz capitalised on his second opportunity, and Team United States rushed from its Team Zone and tackled the 25-year-old to the ground in celebration.
“Just the emotions when you win and everyone comes running at you, it’s amazing," Fritz said. "I don’t know if you saw the replay but Frances basically headbutted me!”
Madison Keys extended the United States' winning lead to 4-0, while also preserving her own unbeaten record with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Lucia Bronzetti.
Keys slammed 22 winners to Bronzetti's six, and 18 of her serves went unreturned — including a service winner on match point.
Keys and Tiafoe, Team United States' No. 2 singles players, both finished their United Cup campaign with a perfect 5-0 record. Pegula and Fritz both ended with a 4-1 record. The team finished the United Cup with a combined 22-2 match record.