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Zverev leads Germany to win over Italy at United Cup; Netherlands, China and Poland also win


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SYDNEY — Alexander Zverev led Germany to a 2-1 win over Italy while the Netherlands won the decisive mixed doubles to beat Norway in the United Cup group stage on Saturday.

Zverev came from behind to beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and teamed with Angelique Kerber to win the decisive mixed doubles against Sorengo and Angelica Moratelli 6-3, 6-0.

“We’re both extremely happy, the whole team is extremely happy,” Zverev said. “Angie played great in mixed and her singles was a high level in her first match back.”

Kerber, the three-time Grand Slam singles winner, played her first match since giving birth in February. She lost to Jasmine Paoline 6-4, 7-5.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek helped top-seeded Poland gain an unassailable 2-0 lead against Brazil, which lost for the second time in two days.

Swiatek rolled against Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 6-2 in her first match of the season, and Hubert Hurkacz recovered to beat Thiago Seyboth Wild 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3 in 2 1/2 hours.

The winner of Monday’s match between Poland and Spain will go through to the quarterfinals.

In Sydney, Arantxa Rus gave the Dutch an early lead by defeating Malene Helgø in two sets, then Casper Ruud leveled the Group F tie for Norway by beating Tallon Griekspoor in two.

Dutch pair Demi Schuurs and Wesley Koolhof then topped the mixed doubles against Ruud and Ulrikke Eikeri 7-6 (5), 7-5.

In Group E in Perth, China raced to 2-0 against the Czech Republic after Zhang Zhizhen rallied to beat Jiri Lehecka 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 and Zheng Qinwen upset No. 7-ranked Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 2-6, 6-1. The Chinese pair then sealed a clean sweep in the mixed doubles.

Mixed teams from 18 countries are playing in Perth and Sydney in what doubles as a warmup for the Australian Open. The format is a men’s and women’s singles and a mixed doubles.

On Sunday, men’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic returns to Perth for the first time since the 2013 Hopman Cup when he leads Serbia in its first group match against China.

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