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Alex de Minaur was again the hero for Australia after the world No.18 scored his second straight comeback victory at the ATP Cup in Brisbane.

De Minaur trailed Denis Shapovalov by a set and a break before reeling off 10 of the final 12 games to post a rousing 6-7(6) 6-4 6-2 win over the powerful Canadian.

The result came two days after he was down 6-4 4-2 against world No.7 Alexander Zverev before recovering to win.

De Minaur was supported by John Millman on Sunday against Canada, with the Queenslander coming in as a late replacement for the injured Nick Kyrgios and stunning 21st-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first match of the day.

Like De Minaur, Millman faced a deficit but from 3-1 down in the first set he won 11 of the final 14 games to post a 6-2 6-4 victory.

Those victories to Millman and De Minaur saw the host country moved to an unassailable 2-0 lead against Canada, who beat Australia two months ago in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Madrid.

And it became a clean sweep when Chris Guccione and John Peers beat Auger-Aliassime and Adil Shamasdin in a thrilling match tiebreak.

It marks Australia’s second clean sweep – after a 3-0 win over Germany on Friday night – and puts the green-and-gold squad in a commanding position at the top of the Group F table, an impressive result given this group is widely considered the strongest of the inaugural ATP Cup.

No other nation was able to post a whitewash on Sunday.

Instead, Grigor Dimitrov led Bulgaria to a 2-1 win over Moldova in Sydney while Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli combined to beat Norway’s Casper Ruud and Viktor Durasovic in doubles to deliver Italy a 2-1 win in Perth.

A win over Greece on Tuesday would ensure the Aussies’ progression to Sydney’s Final Eight knock-out stage.

“I’m super proud of the whole team. This is what playing for your country is all about,” Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt said.

“For these boys (it’s an) opportunity to play in this brand new event, the ATP Cup, but for us to have it in our home country as well is something pretty special for these guys.

“They come out here, they give 100 per cent every time they step on the court, and it makes my job very easy sitting on the sidelines.

“It was certainly a precaution today (for Nick Kyrgios to withdraw from his match); he was a bit stiff yesterday afternoon, but also this morning. Johnny (Millman) was obviously raring to go as well.”

The successful inclusion of world No.48 Millman pointed to the Australian team’s depth.

And De Minaur is proving its spearhead, with the Aussie No.1 in sharp form ahead of the Australian Open later this month.

Source: Matt Trollope

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