Poland snatched a place in the last four after wining the Mixed Doubles of their City Final match after the two nations had split the previous rubbers leaving the tie and a place in Friday’s Final Four of the United Cup in the balance at 2-2.
It was a very interesting matchup, but it was definitely a lot of fun to play mixed doubles to decide and… to win as a team is something special. And having Iga as a partner the way she hits the ball, it’s just amazing. Definitely the girls carried the team today, so thanks for that! Hubert Hurkacz
Hubert Hurkacz and Iga Swiatek were the Polish heroes as they blasted their way over 65-minutes to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Lorenzo Musetti and Camilla Rosatello.
Hurkacz had lost the No. 1 men’s singles match earlier in the evening, but he returned to the Pat Rafter Arena to partner the women’s world No.1 Swiatek, who had won the top women’s singles match, to clinch the tie. As the scoreline suggests, the Poles were in control throughout, and the pair showed their relief after Swiatek hit a final volley into the open court.
“[It feels] amazing, honestly. I don’t know. I think it’s better winning in a team than individually. I’m so happy that we did it together and team effort for sure paid off,” Swiatek said. “Today’s match was pretty stressful because we [don’t] play mixed doubles usually. But I’m so happy that I was able to play a solid game and Hubi was pushing our opponents and really making it easy for me. So I’m really happy that we played such a nice game.”
Despite their being a roof over the stadium there were some short delays when some rain did get through aided by wind blowing it in under the eaves.
“Definitely it was a little bit stressful before the match. Obviously Team Italy is a really super strong team,” Hurkacz said. “It was a very interesting matchup, but it was definitely a lot of fun to play mixed doubles to decide and… to win as a team is something special. And having Iga as a partner the way she hits the ball, it’s just amazing. Definitely the girls carried the team today, so thanks for that!”
Magda Linette gave her country that chance by levelling the tie at 2-2 with a very disciplined performance in the No. 2 women’s singles to defeat Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 6-2 after 72 minutes.
In the first match of the evening session, Matteo Berrettini relied on his big serve and booming forehand to secure a 6-4 3-6 6-3 triumph against Hurkacz after one hour and 57-minutes.
“I’m really happy for the performance, for my teammates obviously,” Berrettini said. “I think the level was really high. Hubi is a great player. We fought in the past, I’m sure we’re going to fight in the future as well. So I’m really, really happy. A little bit tired, but really happy.”
Berrettini made a quick start, breaking Hurkacz’s serve immediately. However, the encounter then turned into a heavyweight clash between the two.
There was little to differentiate between the pair, with the critical moment coming at 3-2 in the deciding set. Berrettini hit two sensational passing shots in the game to give himself a break opportunity, which he converted when the Pole struck a forehand long.
It was Berrettini’s second Top 10 win in as many days, having defeated the world No. 3 Casper Ruud on Tuesday. He also beat Thiago Monteiro in his first match of the season.
“I think the key today was my mental toughness,” Berrettini said. “I wasn’t playing as good as yesterday, but tennis is like this. Every day is different, so I’m really happy for that.”
The day opened well for the Italians with Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti giving his team the perfect start when he cruised past Poland’s Daniel Michalski 6-1 6-1 in 58-minutes to earn his team a good psychological advantage.
“Of course the serve worked really good,” Musetti said. ” I think I played for sure the best match of the year.
“Today I was moving really, really fast with the feet and I think that’s a key part for my game,” Musetti added. “Today I was on fire from that side, so I could manage the match in a positive way.”
But whatever advantage Musetti had created, it proved short-lived as Swiatek then immediately levelled the tie at 1-1 with a 6-2 6-4 win over Martina Trevisan.
Swiatek didn’t take long to get into her stride landing the opening set in 34-minutes.
Trevisan tightened up her game in the second set, as Swiatek’s level also took a dip and the match became a bit more of a ‘match’ with the Italian growing in confidence as the Poles errors started to mount.
The Italian kept it up until the very end when Swaitek struck and captured her serve but even when serving for the win at 5-4, Swiatek was forced to save three break points from 15-40 down, the last wiped out with an ace. On her first match point, Swiatek dug in to out-rally Trevisan and finally closed out the match after one-hour and 51-minutes.
“It became tight in the end and Martina really used her chances well,” Swiatek said. “She really gave it all because I was the one that was leading. I’m happy that even though Martina came back in the second set, I was able to finish it.”
Italy will now have to wait to see if they can qualify for the Final Four as the losing team with the best record.