Taylor Fritz beat Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) in Sydney on Saturday to clinch a spot for the United States in the final of the inaugural United Cup.
Fritz put the US up 3-0 in the best-of-five matchup, and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys made it 4-0 by defeating Magda Linette 6-4, 6-2.
Jessica Pegula and Frances Tiafoe had given the Americans a big lead by taking Friday’s opening singles matches, including Pegula’s straight-set victory over No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek.
The Americans later won the mixed doubles to make it a 5-0 clean sweep. Pegula and Fritz beat Alicja Rosolska and Lukasz Kubot 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-6.
The US will face the winner of the semifinal between Italy and Greece.
The Italians took a 2-0 lead into Saturday night in Sydney, where Greece needed Stefanos Tsitsipas to defeat Matteo Berrettini in a contest between two Grand Slam finalists.
In the second tiebreaker of his match, the ninth-ranked Fritz had success during rallies by targeting the forehand wing of the 10th-ranked Hurkacz, drawing errors on crucial points. Hurkacz was clearly angered after making three forehand mistakes in succession to drop a tiebreaker he had led 5-4.
“No one could really get through for a (service break), but I think the difference in the tiebreakers is that I served well and put some returns in the court, played some really solid points and didn’t give him anything,” Fritz said.
Fritz has represented the US in the Davis Cup but said combining with the country’s best female players enhanced the experience in the new, 18-nation team competition.
“I have played with Team USA a lot and I think it is a huge advantage this time having the girls in our team because it just makes the whole team so much stronger,” he said. “I am super excited going into the finals and I think we have been the favourites all week.”