Medvedev fires Russia into ATP Cup semis

World No 2 wins singles match before helping country clinch deciding doubles against Italy

Reuters January 06, 2022

World number two Daniil Medvedev beat Italian Matteo Berrettini in the singles and then returned to the court to clinch the deciding doubles and fire defending champions Russia into the ATP Cup semi-finals on Thursday.

A depleted Russia came into the $10 million tournaments without fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev and world number 18 Aslan Karatsev after both tested positive for Covid-19 in the lead-up to the team event.

In a winner-takes-all final Group B tie, Italy took the lead through Jannik Sinner's 7-6(6) 6-3 win over Roman Safiullin but Medvedev staved off a fightback from 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," US Open champion Medvedev said.

All four players returned for the decisive doubles on Ken Rosewall Arena and it was the Russian pair of Medvedev and Safiullin who emerged triumphant, taking a final set super tiebreak 7-5 4-6 10-5.

This year's ATP Cup has featured 16 teams with the four group winners proceeding to the semi-finals. Poland will take on Spain in the first semi-final on Friday and Russia, who beat Italy in the final of last year's event, will meet the winners of Group C on Saturday.

Daniel Evans and Jamie Murray rallied to beat Americans Taylor Fritz and John Isner 6-7(3) 7-5 10-8 in the deciding doubles to hand Britain a 2-1 win and keep alive their hopes of winning that group.

Evans had earlier picked up his third straight singles win at the tournament by taking down big server Isner 6-4 7-6(3). Fritz then forced the tie into a deciding double after beating Briton Cameron Norrie 7-6(4) 3-6 6-1.


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