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Sonego upsets Tiafoe, starts Davis Cup Day 3 with a shock for Italy

It was a straight-sets upset for Lorenzo Sonego in Thursday’s first match in the Davis Cup tie between Italy and the USA

Lorenzo Sonego Lorenzo Sonego in Davis Cup action (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)
Rolex Paris Masters •Second round • completed
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The third day of the Davis Cup finals began with a surprising result in the quarter-final between Italy and the United States – with world No 45 Lorenzo Sonego winning in straight sets (6-3, 7-6) against Frances Tiafoe, the world No 19.

The pair had met for the first time just last month, with the American taking a 6-4, 6-4 win in the round of 64 at the Rolex Paris Masters.

Today’s scoreline was perhaps a little complimentary in Sonego’s favour, with the Italian hitting 19 winners and 15 unforced errors and Tiafoe 22 winners and 15 unforced errors. But Sonego was stronger on serve, with 17 aces to his opponent’s five, and taking his only break point in the first set to move to a 4-2 lead.

“I was be[ing] more aggressive than two weeks ago,” Sonego said afterwards. “I played him in Paris, and I lost 6-4, 6-4. But today I was really aggressive on my return and on my serve. I served really good on breakpoint and set point. I think this was the key for today.”

And in the second set he stayed mentally tough to bounce back from missing two match points in the tiebreak. Tiafoe tried to capitalise, but allowed his three set points to slip, and Sonego took it 9-7 – giving Italy a 1-0 lead before the second singles encounter of the day, between Lorenzo Musetti and Taylor Fritz.

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