Davis Cup: Italy tops US in doubles to reach semifinals

Nov 23, 2022, 3:56 PM | Updated: Nov 24, 2022, 8:51 am
Jack Sock, left, speaks to Tommy Paul of the USA during their doubles match against Italy's Fabio F...

Jack Sock, left, speaks to Tommy Paul of the USA during their doubles match against Italy's Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

(AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

              Jack Sock, left, speaks to Tommy Paul of the USA during their doubles match against Italy's Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Simone Bolelli, right, speaks to Fabio Fognini during the doubles match against Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Team Italy celebrates after defeating USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Taylor Fritz of the USA reacts after losing a point to Italy's Lorenzo Musetti during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Simone Bolelli, right, speaks to Fabio Fognini during the doubles match against Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Team Italy celebrates after defeating USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini, left, celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Taylor Fritz of the USA reacts after losing a point to Italy's Lorenzo Musetti during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Simone Bolelli, right, speaks to Fabio Fognini during the doubles match against Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Team Italy celebrates after defeating USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini, left, celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Jack Sock, left, speaks to Tommy Paul of the USA during their doubles match against Italy's Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Simone Bolelli, right, speaks to Fabio Fognini during the doubles match against Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Team Italy celebrates after defeating USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Fabio Fognini, left, celebrates after defeating, together with Simone Bolelli, after defeating Tommy Paul and Jack Sock of the USA in a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Taylor Fritz of the USA reacts after losing a point to Italy's Lorenzo Musetti during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Lorenzo Musetti is dejected after losing to Taylor Fritz of the USA during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Taylor Fritz of the USA reacts after losing a point to Italy's Lorenzo Musetti during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Taylor Fritz of the USA celebrates defeating Italy's Lorenzo Musetti during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Frances Tiafoe of the USA returns to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Lorenzo Sonego serves to Frances Tiafoe of the USA during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Frances Tiafoe of the USA returns the ball to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Lorenzo Sonego returns the ball to Frances Tiafoe of the USA during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Lorenzo Sonego celebrates after winning the first set against Frances Tiafoe of the USA during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Frances Tiafoe of the USA is dejected after losing a point to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
            
              Italy's Lorenzo Sonego celebrates after defeating Frances Tiafoe of the USA during a Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match between Italy and USA in Malaga, Spain, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

MÁLAGA, Spain (AP) — Italy beat the United States in a doubles decider Thursday to advance to the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time in eight years.

Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4 to secure a 2-1 win for Italy after the teams split the singles matches.

Bolelli and Fognini broke once in each set to set up a semifinal on Saturday against the winner between Germany and Canada.

Earlier, Lorenzo Sonego used his big serve to defeat Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6 (7) and give the Italians a 1-0 lead. Taylor Fritz pulled the U.S. level after beating Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (8), 6-3.

The U.S. holds a record 32 Davis Cup trophies, but its last one came in 2007 under the previous format of best-of-five matches played in host countries instead of the revamped event where the final eight teams gather in one spot for a week of tennis. The American team led by captain Mardy Fish team came to Spain with high hopes that it could break that dry spell.

“I have wanted to win this thing for a very long time as a player and captain,” Fish said. “It is not going to happen this year and it stinks. We are going home without the trophy, which is a bummer.”

Italy, whose only Davis Cup title came in 1976, won without its top two players as Jannik Sinner has an injured finger and Matteo Berrettini is recovering from a foot problem.

Sonego, ranked No. 45, struck 17 aces and never ceded a service game to Tiafoe. Sonego clinched the win after Tiafoe netted a forehand following a long rally to end the second-set tiebreaker.

No. 19-ranked Tiafoe, who reached the U.S. Open semifinals in September, won their only previous meeting at the Paris Masters just over three weeks ago.

This time Sonego took the initiative, Tiafoe said.

“A couple of weeks ago I was playing very aggressive, running him around, hitting much harder. Today, he was,” Tiafoe said.

Sonego saved two set points while serving at 6-5 in the second set to force the tiebreaker. He said he drew on the loud Italian fans who showed up to support him in Spain, which is home to more than 250,000 Italians.

“I am really proud of my team and of this unbelievable crowd, it looks like we are in Italy. They support us from the beginning,” said Italy captain Filippo Volandri.

Fritz hit 12 aces and had one break to beat the No. 23-ranked Musetti for a second time after defeating him at Wimbledon in June.

On Wednesday, a Croatia team led by Marin Cilic advanced to the other semifinal after beating a Spain side that was missing Rafael Nadal and No. 1-ranked Carlos Alcaraz.

Croatia will face Australia, which beat the Netherlands on Tuesday.

The final is on Sunday.

___

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Christian Pulisic of the United States attends a press conference before a training session at Al-G...
Associated Press

US star Pulisic on track to play against Dutch in World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic is on track to play for the United States in its World Cup round of 16 match against the Netherlands on Saturday, Pulisic left Tuesday’s final group stage match against Iran at halftime after bruising his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th […]
1 day ago
Spain players leave the pitch at the end of the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan and Sp...
Associated Press

Spain in recovery mode after losing to Japan at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It’s not how Spain imagined reaching the knockout phase of the World Cup: finishing the group stage with a loss and having to rely on other teams to help it advance. Spain survived but heads into the round of 16 against Morocco with bruised confidence after losing 2-1 to Japan. “We […]
1 day ago
FILE - Philadelphia Eagles' Josh McCown speaks during a news conference after an NFL wild-card play...
Associated Press

Josh McCown hopeful to get a coaching opportunity

Josh McCown played quarterback for 12 teams across nearly two decades in the NFL, and learned a different offense almost every season. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experience as a coach. “I love being part of teams and being part of a group,” McCown said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “You […]
1 day ago
Belgium's head coach Roberto Martinez, left, hugs Belgium's Eden Hazard after the World Cup group F...
Associated Press

Belgium’s golden generation is over, where now for Martinez?

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — His eyes welling up, Roberto Martinez said his goodbyes and left, his next whereabouts unknown. It is the end of an era for Belgium’s golden generation. But for the man who led it to third place at the 2018 World Cup, it is the beginning of something new. A return to […]
1 day ago
head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands talks with Frankie de Jong as he leaves the pitch duri...
Associated Press

US coach Berhalter to draw on Dutch lessons at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Gregg Berhalter knows plenty about Dutch soccer — he turned pro in the Netherlands 28 years ago. He will look to draw on the lessons he learned there when he coaches the United States against Oranje on Saturday for a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar. The […]
1 day ago
Argentina's Lionel Messi during the World Cup group C soccer match between Poland and Argentina at ...
Associated Press

Messi, Argentina try to avoid World Cup upset vs. Australia

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Australia’s players speak in glowing, almost reverential terms about Lionel Messi. “He just does things that, you know, no one else can do,” forward Mathew Leckie said. Milos Degenek went even further. “Probably,” the Socceroos defender said, “the best footballer ever to grace the game.” Imagine, then, how they’ll be feeling […]
1 day ago
Davis Cup: Italy tops US in doubles to reach semifinals