ATP CUP: Daniil Medvedev leads Russia into the semi-finals

The reigning champion will play the winner of Group C in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Daniil Medvedev in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

World No.2 tennis-ace Daniil overcame the Italian challenge from Matteo Berrettini in the singles then carried on his momentum to the doubles clash to lead the defending champions Russia into the ATP Cup semi-finals on Thursday. It is notable that Russia managed to sail through the final-four stage of the USD 10 million tournament without Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev. Both tested positive for Covid-19 in the lead-up to the team event. The Italians took the lead through Jannik Sinner’s 7-6(6) 6-3 win over Roman Safiullin. But, Medvedev came back fighting against world number seven and Wimbledon finalist Berrettini to win 6-2 6-7(5) 6-4 and level the tie.

“The first set I was in control and it’s tricky because you think that things will continue to go your way but that’s not the case when you’re up against a Top 10 player,” Medvedev said. “I made some bad decisions in the second set so I tried to learn from that in the third. I served well throughout the match and that helped me.”

Italy’s  Sinner, meanwhile, was expecting the best-possible result for his side. But it went the other way. He also believes that luck favoured him in the first set to give Italy the lead over the Russians.

“I love to play for Italy and am very early happy to be up 1-0 and now we’ll see how Matteo can do against the No. 2 player in the world,” Sinner said. “It will be a tough challenge for him.

“Every match is tough to win at this level. [Roman] played incredible. I had to play my best tennis in the important moments. I got a little lucky in the first set but that is part of the game.”

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The top two players from each team then returned to square-off for the men’s doubles clash where the Russian pair of Medvedev and Safiullin emerged victorious 7-5 4-6 10-5 after the final set super tie-breaker. 

The ATP CUP 2020 featured 16 teams with the final four proceeding to the semi-finals. It will be Poland against Spain in the first semi-final on Friday while Russia will have to wait to know their opponent. 

It will come down to Germany as if the Alexander Zverev-led side beat Canada in the final group tie later on Thursday then Britain will claim the last semi-final spot. However, a win for Canada, will help them sail through the semi-finals against Russia. 

Sportslumo Desk

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