| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USTA


The first week of the ATP season begins in Sydney, Australia with the new ATP Cup, an event that sees countrymen join forces in a team format.

The group stages begin with ties that feature two singles matches and one doubles match. In Group C, Team USA won its first tie of the competition as it defeated Team Canada 3-0 on Sunday.

John Isner got the Americans off to the winning start as he defeated Brayden Schnur, who had replaced Denis Shapovalov, 6-1, 6-3 in the opening singles match.

“I surprised myself with how well I played out here,” said Isner, who blasted 10 aces. “You always work hard in the offseason, but you never really know what could happen in that first match of the year.”

Taylor Fritz then took on Felix Auger-Aliassime, and the highest-ranked American came back to win 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 to seal the victory for the United States.

“We’re feeling really good. When we played in 2020, we didn’t win a match, so first win for Team USA at the ATP Cup. It feels good,” said Fritz. “I definitely deserved to win the [first] set. I basically did everything but win it. I knew that it was obviously really important for the team and also really for me and I felt like I played pretty well in the first set, but I felt like I could play even better.

So I just kind of focused on that and told myself to just kind of do the same thing I just did and win the next two sets.”

To round out the scoring in the tie, Fritz & Isner teamed up to defeat Auger-Aliassime & Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4.

Team USA next plays Team Germany on Tuesday.