Italy became the first team to advance to the ATP Cup 2021 semi-finals after completing a comprehensive day-two victory over France at Melbourne Park.
Fabio Fognini defeated Benoit Paire 6-1 7-6 7-2 in Wednesday’s opening singles rubber before Matteo Berrettini edged out the tie with a 6-4 6-2 triumph over Gael Monfils.
French duo Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin teamed up to beat Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori in the dead doubles rubber, but the consolation win for the duo wasn’t enough.
The Italian team are unbeaten and are assured of topping Group C following their 2-1 victory over Austria on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Zverev rallied from behind to deny Shapovalov 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after Jan-Lennard Struff had stunned former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) in the opening rubber at Melbourne Park.
The Canadians are out of the semi final contention after losing 2-1 to defending champions on Tuesday.
The win means Alexander Zverev will face Novak Djokovic for Group A honours whiles Struff faces Dusan Lajovic in the other singles match, before the potentially decisive doubles rubber.
On Wednesday, Russia will play Japan and Australia will face Greece in a must-win encounter for Lleyton Hewitt’s team following their 3-0 loss to Spain on Tuesday.
John Millman takes on world No.462 Michail Pervolarakis in the opening match before Alex de Minaur squares off with the sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Group B game could well come down to the doubles between Tsitsipas and Pervolarakis and Australia’s team of John Peers and Luke Saville.