Italy Earns First Davis Cup Triumph Since 1976 Thanks to Scintillating Jannik Sinner
After his heartbreaking loss to Novak Djokovic in the Nitto ATP Finals a week ago, Jannik Sinner inspired Italy to their first Davis Cup since 1976 with a heroic performance which saw him end the week with five wins out of five. To Italian fans, it was about damn time they won the Davis Cup as this Italian squad of Jannik Sinner, Matteo Berrettini, Lorenzo Sonego, and Matteo Arnaldi finally fulfilled their potential as one of the most promising tennis nations in the world. However, thanks to the scintillating Jannik Sinner, who rallied them back from three match points down against Serbia, Italy finally reclaimed their Davis Cup glory in 2023.
Italy Won the Davis Cup the Hard Way
While the saying is that there is no easy way in any competition, Italy did have to go through the harshest way in their Davis Cup run, especially in the semi-finals against Novak Djokovic’s Serbia. For context, Italy was on the brink of elimination as Djokovic held three match-point opportunities against Sinner before the Italian miraculously turned the game around from 4-5, 0-40 to an unbelievable 7-5 win in the deciding match.
Then, Sinner returned in the deciding doubles tie with Lorenzo Sonego, in which he faced Djokovic again, who paired with Miomir Kecmanovic. Perhaps buoyed by the momentum, the Italian did not loosen their grasp on the match as the pair won a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 straight sets victory to clinch the tie. The Italian squad then carried the momentum to the final as 22-year-old Matteo Arnaldi dug deep and overcame the veteran Alexei Popyrin 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to give Italy the first point.
Thus, with Italy a point up, all hopes were on Jannik Sinner to close off the title. However, his opponent, Alex de Minaur, has made massive improvements this year and troubled the Italian early on, which he had a horrific 0-5 against. Eventually, the Italian found his range and displayed a dominating performance of brutal, untouchable winners in Malaga as he swept the Australian 6-3 6-0 to earn Italy their well-deserved Davis Cup crown.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Congratulates Italy on Davis Cup Victory
After their 47-year wait for the Davis Cup title, even Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni could not contain her excitement as she congratulated the Italian Squad on X. “A historic result. Congratulations to our players for the talent and commitment they have shown, and also to all the staff.”
In his post-match interview, Jannik Sinner could not contain his delight as he stated: “We kept everything together. Yesterday, we were one point from being out, and now we can celebrate the win. I think we can all be very, very happy. It is a really important win for me, and the whole team and Italy together, no? We felt the pressure. We had a lot of responsibility. But still, we managed. We stand up for it. We were excited. Obviously, everyone is really happy about the end result.”
Furthermore, he thanked injured teammate Matteo Berrettini for accompanying them through their Davis Cup journey. “Huge thanks to Matteo Berrettini too. He’s had a very, very tough year with a lot of injuries, and it means a lot to all of us that he came here with his positive energy.”
David Cup Performance Cements Sinner as the One to Watch for Next Season
The David Cup victory puts the icing on the cake for Jannik Sinner as he ends the 2023 season with a career-high ranking, his tenth ATP title, his maiden Masters 1000 title at the Canadian Open and reaching the final of the ATP finals on his debut. Furthermore, he is the only player to defeat Djokovic, Alcaraz and Medvedev, the three players currently above him in the rankings more than once this year.
Consistency is always the question directed to the next-gen, as we saw the longevity of the Big 3, with Novak winning his 24th Grand Slam this year, Roger winning in 2018 and becoming the oldest world number 1 after recovering from injury, and Rafa preparing to return next year after some promising signs on his injury. While everyone had their hopes placed on Alcaraz at the start of the year, many may now shift their attentions to Sinner after his surge in the latter part of the year.
Nevertheless, we are excited for Jannik Sinner next season and whether he can step up from a Masters 1000 champion to a Grand Slam champion, a title that Italian players have not achieved since 1976. Ironically enough, it is the same length since they won the Davis Cup. And who helped break the record? Jannik Sinner.