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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday February 5, 2021

Matteo Berrettini

Italy and Russia are set to play for the ATP Cup trophy on Sunday in Melbourne.

Photo Source: Getty

Italy and Russia will for the second ATP Cup crown.

Tennis Express

The final was set on Saturday in Melbourne, as Russia and Italy each engineered singles sweeps, over Germany and Spain, respectively.

Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev continued their torrid tennis for the Russian team, but they each needed to go three sets to seal their victories.

Rublev fell behind against Jan-Lennard Struff but rallied to notch a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Medvedev had a tense struggle with Alexander Zverev, and even though the German struggled with a back issue from the end of the second set, he was able to push Medvedev to the brink in the final set.

But Medvedev was able to seal the win and lock up his 13th consecutive victory, and his third in succession over Zverev. Medvedev saved five break points and finally converted his fourth match point in the final game of the two hour and 38 minute contest.

“We're really happy to get the win, that's the most important,” Medvedev said. “Tough matches both of us. Both of us lost the first set. Not easy because we had two days off before the match. I don't know what Andrey thinks about this but, had two days without the matches, one day we were in the room almost the whole day, so not easy to prepare a match. But happy we're in the final. That's the most important.”

This year’s ATP Cup is tricky due to the fact that it comes so close to the start of the Australian Open. Medvedev was asked about the difficulties that he and other players faced with regard to the tight turnaround.

“I would say it's tough,” Medvedev said. "I think everything that happened here in Australia, if we talk from tennis point of view, of course I'm saying only from tennis point of view, it's tough. The preparation, you cannot be hundred percent. For some people it's good, somebody will be ready better, somebody will be worse. I'm just trying to do my best I can to be hundred percent first for ATP Cup and then Australian Open. Let's see how it goes.”

Italy toppled Spain, which was playing without Rafael Nadal for the third consecutive tie. Nadal has been resting his stiff back and it was up to Pablo Carreno Busta, who faced Fabio Fognini and entered the day with a 7-0 record against the Italian.

It would be Fognini who would get the win, and after it was Matteo Berrettini, perhaps the most impressive player of the ATP Cup this year, who locked up the victory with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Roberto Bautista Agut.

Rublev will face Fognini and Berrettini will face Medvedev in the final.


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