Dan Evans proved to be the unlikely hero for Britain in Group C at the ATP Cup when he won two matches, including the crucial doubles rubber with Jamie Murray, to guide them to a 2-1 victory over Germany.
Evans powered past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1 6-2 to give Britain the lead before world number three Alexander Zverev restored parity with a 7-6(2) 6-1 win over the up-and-coming Cameron Norrie.
But Evans played spoiler as he and Murray swept to a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Zverev and Kevin Krawietz to take the tie at Sydney’s Olympic Park.
In Group B, world number seven Matteo Berrettini was beaten on his return from injury as Italy slumped to a 2-1 loss to Australia, who were without James Duckworth after he was forced to pull out with a hip problem.
Berrettini, who withdrew from the ATP Finals and Davis Cup due to an abdominal injury, struggled for rhythm as De Minaur prevailed 6-3 7-6(4) despite nearly blowing a 5-3 lead in the second set.
Jannik Sinner had earlier put the Italians 1-0 up with a routine 6-1 6-3 win over Max Purcell.
Berrettini returned for the doubles decider alongside Simone Bolelli but the duo were no match for John Peers and Luke Saville, who clinched the tie with a 6-3 7-5 win.
Earlier, Canadian Denis Shapovalov was a late withdrawal from his singles match against American John Isner at the $10-million men’s team tournament.
The world number 14 had been forced to isolate in his hotel room after a positive COVID-19 test upon arrival in Sydney.
Shapovalov later took to the court to play doubles with Felix Auger-Aliassime.
That was a dead rubber, however, as Isner had beaten Shapovalov’s singles replacement Brayden Schnur before Taylor Fritz downed Auger-Aliassime to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead in the Group C clash.
Isner and Fritz also won the doubles rubber to put a 3-0 gloss on their nation’s first ATP Cup tie victory.