Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin won their singles matches before teaming up to win the doubles on Tuesday to give defending champions Russia a victory over Australia and first place in Group B of the ATP Cup.
Russia are 2-0 in the tournament, but still have to beat Italy on Thursday in a rematch between last year’s finalists to ensure they advance to the semi-finals.
Safiullin opened the night session with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over James Duckworth. Medvedev beat Alex De Minaur 6-4, 6-2 to secure Russia’s victory before the double.
“We fight when we play for our country, right down to the last point,” Medvedev said.
Italy bounced back from their loss to Australia last Sunday to sweep France away, with Jannik Sinner beating Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6 (3) and Matteo Berrettini beating Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-6 (6 ) in singles. .
For Berrettini, it was a victory that boosted confidence after a loss to de Minaur over the weekend. Humbert had just won an upset victory over US Open champion Medvedev.
“I had to play my best tennis in the important moments to win the game and I’m really happy with my performance,” Berrettini said in a television interview on the court.
All four teams in Group C are 1-1 after Germany beat the United States and Canada rallied to beat Great Britain.
Jan-Lennard Struff held off 34 aces in a 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-5 win over John Isner to put Germany ahead and Alexander Zverev sealed his team’s victory, on his fifth match point, with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Taylor Fritz.
Isner and Fritz combined for a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz in doubles, earning the Americans a point that could prove important in determining the group winners.
Germany lost to Great Britain 2-1 in their first game of the tournament, and the Americans swept Canada 3-0.
“A great effort from Jan to beat John in these conditions… we needed this win, we had to get on the board,” said Zverev, third. “It’s the second game of the season. I’m still doing it. I’m still trying to adapt, but I’m happy with the way things are going.
In the night session Dan Evans gave Great Britain an early lead over Canada by beating Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4, but Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Cameron Norrie 7-6 (4), 6-3, then combined with Shapovalov to beat Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury 6-4, 6-1 in the deciding doubles match.
“I am happy to keep the team alive, but the job is not done,” said Auger-Aliassime.
The group winner will be decided on Thursday when Germany takes on Canada and the United States takes on Great Britain.
The four group winners of the 16-team tournament advance to the semi-finals on Friday and Saturday, with the final scheduled for Sunday.
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