ATP Cup: Daniil Medvedev stars in Russia’s win over Australia

Medvedev and Safiullin also combined together for a doubles match, completing a 3-0 clean sweep against the host nation.

Daniil Medvedev in a file photo; Credit: [email protected]

Daniil Medvedev produced a ruthless display of tennis, while Roman Safiullin survived a hard-fought battle to help the defending champion Russia beat Australia to move to 2-0 in Group B play at the ATP Cup. With his brilliant brand of tennis, Medvedev kept the majority of supporters on the Qudos Bank Arena quiet, as he comfortably got past Alex De Minaur in a 6-4, 6-2 win over 80 minutes. It followed on from World No.167 Safiullin’s spirited 7-6, 6-4 victory over James Duckworth in the No.2 singles match on Tuesday.

“We fight when we play for our country, to the last point,” said World No.2 Medvedev. “I didn’t feel great prior to the match, so I took some painkillers before I came out. I’m really happy for Roman, he’s winning every match he’s played so far. I watched his match tonight from the locker room. I’ve known him since he was 10, he had a good junior career and has been unlucky with injuries.”

Medvedev and Safiullin also combined together for a doubles match, completing a 3-0 clean sweep against the host nation. They registered a hard-fought 7-6, 3-6, 10-6 win over Australia’s John Peers and Luke Saville in one hour and 43 minutes. Russia will next play Italy on Thursday in a repeat of the 2021 ATP Cup final. Meanwhile, host country Australia will take on France, as both ties will be contested on Ken Rosewall Arena.

Who said what?

“He’s a very tactical player, in the sense of he baits you very well to go for a lot,” said De Minaur of Medvedev. “He’s obviously a very good mover with very good end-range shots. To beat him, you got to obviously be aggressive and take the net, but at the same time you don’t want to over press. I feel like I did a bit of that today, and made a couple too many unforced errors… He makes life quite difficult in that aspect and especially on this court his ball was shooting through and it was very tough to get any free points today.”

Safiullin, who upset Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech on Sunday, defeated James Duckworth in just under two hours. “It was a great match for me and the match before as well. This one I would say started more or less the same, but then [I was able to] come back in the first set,” Safiullin said. “At the end I could push James a bit more and managed to win.”

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