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Tsitsipas win sees Greece extend lead over Bulgaria in United Cup

Stefanos Tsitsipas extended Greece’s lead over Bulgaria to 2-0 by edging Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the United Cup that kicked off on Thursday.

Tsitsipas’ teammate Despina Papamichail rallied to beat Isabella Shinikova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the opening women’s singles match.

The group phase of the inaugural United Cup – a new mixed team competition of the ATP and WTA – got underway across the Australian cities of Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, featuring 18 teams placed into six groups.

Playing in the day session held in Perth, world No. 4 Tsitsipas finished his two-hour, nine-minute encounter with a defining ace in the tiebreaker, spearheading Greece to the top of Group A.

Tsitsipas told reporters that in the third set he and Dimitrov both had high first-serve percentages, using their forehands to attack and open the court and fight all the way to the tiebreaker.

“Grigor gave an unforced error from the first point of the tiebreaker. I knew that this was my moment to really go for it,” said Tsitsipas. “I continued and cruised from that point onwards.”

The RAC Arena in Perth also saw France rise to top spot in Group F. World No. 36 Alize Cornet defeated Maria Carle of Argentina 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 15 minutes in the women’s singles. World No. 44 Arthur Rinderknech widened France’s advantage over Argentina in the following men’s singles match, outplaying Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-2.

At the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, the United States got off to a flying start as Taylor Fritz and Madison Keys notched straight-set wins over their opponents from the Czech Republic.

Australia, under the gaze of the home crowd, swallowed two defeats to Britain, who currently sit top of Group D.

World No. 24 Alex de Minaur was overcome by higher-ranked Briton Cameron Norrie 3-6, 3-6 in a one-hour, 31-minute match. Shortly afterwards, Zoe Hives suffered a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Katie Swan in the women’s singles.

“I think I made too many errors today in certain areas, and just didn’t play my overall best tennis. It’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes,” Minaur said at the press conference.

In Brisbane, 20-year-old world No. 23 Lorenzo Musetti leveled Italy’s score against Brazil to 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over world No. 166 Felipe Meligeni Alves.

Before that, Italy’s world No. 27 Martina Trevisan had been trounced 2-6, 0-6 by Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia