We could also have written the headline “Sensational Sinner Seals the Success”, but this is a team competition and Italy wins the Davis Cup 2023. Their first victory in the competition in 47 years.
Yes, Jannik Sinner was vital to the victory and has been in spectacular form in the season’s final months. But huge kudos to Matteo Arnaldi who won an extremely important first match against Alexei Popyrin 7-5 2-6 6-4.
“This match was very important and emotional for a few things”, Arnaldi revealed afterwards. “One, this year for me was the first time playing for my country. And then, a month ago, an important person passed away, my girlfriend’s father.”
“I think I also blocked a bit for that, because I really wanted to win for all these reasons. It wasn’t easy to play, but they gave me the power at the end to try to win the match.”Matteo Arnaldi
To highlight the ups and downs of tennis and the fact that Popyrin won the most points in the match, Arnaldi also said this:
“I was playing pretty bad”, said Arnaldi. “The second and third sets, I played one of the worst of this year. But it was important for me to play every point, to stay there, and try something. At the end it worked.”
“I’m sorry for Alexei, because he deserved to win, for sure. He was playing better. But sometimes Davis Cup is like this. I had my team cheering a lot, and I think that helped.”
This hard-fought win allowed Sinner to relax and play his best tennis against De Minaur. And although De Minaur started aggressively, Sinner freed up after winning the first set and completely destroyed De Minaur in the second. Final score: 6-3 6-0.
Alex De Minaur held his head high in defeat:
“There hasn’t been another nation that’s gone back to back in the last two years, so we are showing a pretty good effort collectively. We are very, very close. It stinks like hell. We’ll be back. We’ll get this. I mean, we’ve got a very, very strong future ahead of us.”Alex De Minaur
Maybe the third time’s a charm in 2024 for Australia?
After sealing this historic victory, Sinner said:
We know that we have a lot of potential in each of our players, also the captain and everyone”, Sinner said. “I think we are all really young, except… Simone. He has played this for 15 years. So he gave us a lot of experience in one way, and I think the player who is playing the match sees this kind of thing. Matteo (Berrettini), who came for us, was really important.
“We are all very young. We are really hungry to try to win it one more time for our life, but having this feeling at least once, it is a really special feeling.”Jannik Sinner
Winning the Davis Cup after beating the best player in history in both singles and doubles surely bodes well for Sinner in 2024. Carota boys might have a busy year on their hands!