SYDNEY, Australia -- Lucia Bronzetti clinched Italy's place in the United Cup final with a 78-minute 6-2, 6-3 victory over Valentini Grammatikopoulou.

Italy led Greece 2-0 overnight, but Stefanos Tsitsipas gained one point back by defeating Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 before Bronzetti closed out the win. Italy, which also won a dead-rubber mixed doubles match, will will square off against the United States for the title. 

"It was not easy," Bronzetti said, "because it was the most important point. Yeah, I felt pressure because I had to win. But, yeah, now it's even more important and more funny for me. Yeah, I am happy."

With Greece's No.2 WTA player Despina Papamichail unable to play, the last-minute substitution of Valentini Grammatikopoulou could have been an advantage. The No.199-ranked 25-year-old had beaten Bronzetti in both of their previous meetings, including in the final of last August's Vancouver 125 event to seal the biggest title of her career.

Team USA completes victory over Poland; into United Cup final

However Bronzetti overwhelmed Grammatikopoulou with depth and changes of direction. The Greek player committed 15 errors to only three winners in a nervy first set.

Grammatikopoulou settled to make the second a closer contest, pounding away several sharp forehand winners. But Bronzetti responded by raising her own level, breaking in the third game after an off forehand winner followed by a dead net cord. A series of terrific passing shots helped her maintain her lead through to the finish, and an errant Grammatikopoulou drive volley sealed the Italian's first match point.

Earlier, it had appeared Matteo Berrettini would seal Italy’s place in the final, but Tsitsipas refused to allow that to happen.

For the first half of the No.1 men’s singles match, Berrettini was in control. Full of confidence after victories against Thiago Monteiro and Top 10 stars Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz earlier in the mixed-teams competition, the Italian used his booming serve and thunderous forehand to keep Tsitsipas on the back foot.

Despite having the racquet taken out of his hand for much of the match, Tsitsipas began to encourage the Ken Rosewall Arena crowd to involve itself midway into the second set. That proved the turning point.

The Greek fans enthusiastically complied, waving flags and supporting its top-ranked male player. Cries of “Hellas! Hellas! Hellas!” began reverberating through the crowd.

Suddenly, despite being down a set, momentum was on Tsitsipas’ side. Berrettini, who rarely let slip his concentration during the match, misfired throughout the tiebreak, which the Greek took full advantage of.

Nonetheless, Berrettini was thrilled with his team's outcome. 

"I think when you play team competition, it's important to create like a group off court and then you can perform better on court," he said.

"That's what we did from the very first moment. When we figured out what was the team, you know, when we signed for this competition, we immediately created this group chat and started talking about when we will get here and we kind of celebrated Christmas on the flights together.

"We started to hang out together and create this bond that is really important. And I believe in this. I believe in the fact that we are to the finals because we are a strong group off court."

Italy lost its City Final in Brisbane against Poland, but earned a spot in Sydney as the best-placed runner-up.

The ATP Tour contributed to this report.