Defending champions prove too strong for Team Australia at ATP Cup
World No.2 Daniil Medvedev has steered Team Russia to victory against local hopes, Team Australia, at the ATP Cup.
Team Russia has powered to a thrilling 3-0 win against Team Australia in ATP Cup action at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney tonight.
World No.2 Daniil Medvedev sealed victory for his nation, outsmarting Australian Alex de Minaur 6-4 6-2 in a highly-anticipated contest.
Not even a vocal home crowd could help world No.34 De Minaur stop the all-conquering Russian, who won a tour-leading 62 matches last season.
“He’s a very tactical player in the sense of he baits you very well to go for a lot,” De Minaur said. “He’s obviously a very good mover with very good end-range shots. I mean, 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 and I feel like I did a bit of that today and made a couple too many unforced errors.”
Medvedev showed the brilliance that helped him capture last year’s US Open title, producing a measured performance against the in-form Aussie. Medvedev lost just 14 points on serve in the 80-minute match.
“It didn’t go my way, but you live and you learn,” De Minaur said. “(I) didn’t execute how I wanted to today, but there’s always tomorrow. There’s always things to improve on, lots of things I learned today and we move on.”
Earlier in the evening, world No.167 Roman Safiullin spoiled James Duckworth’s ATP Cup debut.
The unheralded 24-year-old was fearless in a 7-6(6) 6-4 victory, striking 12 aces and 33 winners in total.
Safiullin also dominated on serve, conceding only 18 points, to prevent world No.49 Duckworth from building any momentum in their one-hour and 58-minute battle.
“All the boys on the bench and the home support was great,” Duckworth said. “I just wish I could have performed a bit better.
“I didn’t serve well the whole match.”
Medvedev and Safiullin continued their winning form in doubles, combining brilliantly to beat Aussie pair John Peers and Luke Saville in a high-quality three-set battle.
The Russian duo edged out a 7-6(7) 3-6 [10-6] victory to complete a clean-sweep of the tie.
Tonight’s result boosts Team Russia’s chances of finishing on top of Group B and advancing to the semifinals. The defending champions are unbeaten so far this week and can secure a semifinal spot with victory against Team Italy in their final round-robin match on Thursday.
Team Australia next faces Team France, led by world No.35 Ugo Humbert, on Thursday evening.
Results – ATP Cup 2021
Team Russia d Team Australia 3-0
Roman Safiullin (RUS) d James Duckworth (AUS) 7-6(6) 6-4
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) d Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-4 6-2
Daniil Medvedev/Roman Safiullin (RUS) d John Peers/Luke Saville (AUS) 7-6(7) 3-6 [10-6]