World No. 5, Daniil Medvedev is hopeful Russia can go all the way in the ATP Cup after they advanced to the semi-finals on Thursday.
Russia scored a 3-0 victory over Argentina to book their place in the semi-finals, setting up a last four meeting with either Serbia or Canada.
As has been the case in all of their round-robin matches, the Russians took care of business in the singles rubbers, with the formidable duo of world No. 5, Daniil Medvedev and world No. 17, Karen Khachanov winning their respective singles matches. Medvedev and Khachanov both have 4-0 records in singles matches at the 2020 ATP Cup.
Khachanov set Russia on the way to victory with a 6-2 7-6 win over Guido Pella, while Medvedev overcame a typically spirited challenge from Diego Schwartzman to give the Europeans an unassailable 2-0 advantage.
Teymuraz Gabashvili and Konstantin Kravchuk then added gloss on the scoreline with victory in the doubles against Maxime Gonzalez and Andres Molteni.
“We made our job. All the matches were won in singles, which is amazing, and I think only Spain did the same so far,” Medvedev said. “It’s really great. We played great with Karen. Hopefully we can go all the way, but I’m really happy with the way ATP Cup is going for Team Russia.”
Medvedev struck 14 aces against Schwartzman, and won 78% of his first serve points, but he struggled on second serves, winning just 37% of points on that delivery. There wasn’t much to choose between the players, but just as the final set drifted towards a tie break, Medvedev got the match-winning break, via a backhand cross court winner, at 4-3. He served out the 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory in the next game.
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Medvedev struggled to shake off the stubborn Schwartzman throughout the match- his frustration very obvious at times. He was given a point penalty for hitting the umpires’ chair with his racket midway through the second set.
“It was a super tough match,” Medvedev said. “Physically, [it] was really tough. I felt like I was not getting the balls I can. I was not hitting as strong as I can usually. So it made me problems. But that I won this match is the most important, and I’m really happy about it.”
The Russians will face either Canada or Serbia in the semis.