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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, January 5, 2020

Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev out-aced John Isner and broke serve four times rolling through 10 of the last 11 games in a 6-3, 6-1 rout to secure Russia's ATP Cup win over the USA.

Photo credit: @ATP Cup

Fear factor came to court in Perth.

A skittish Daniel Medvedev conceded he was "scared" of facing John Isner's wrecking ball serve for the first time.

More: Aussies Shine in Brisbane

The Russian No. 1's response to facing that weapon was frighteningly flawless.

Medvedev out-aced Isner and broke serve four times rolling through 10 of the last 11 games in a 6-3, 6-1 rout to secure Russia's ATP Cup win over the United States.

Russia raised its record to 2-0 in Group D, while the USA dropped to 0-2.

"First time I played him, to be honest with you I was very scared in terms of his serve of course," Medvedev said. "First match of the season he served 33 aces [vs. Casper Ruud] so I knew I just have to wait for my chances.

"Finally, I was really good on return, maybe not John's best day on the serve. But I'm really happy to be through so fast and easy."

Russian No. 2 Karen Khachanov opened today's tie drilling 12 aces and denying four of six break points in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Taylor Fritz. Khachanov won 14 of the last 18 points wrapping up a one hour, 50-minute win.

“He started like on the 10th speed,” said Khachanov. “In the car you have only six, but he started with 10. And he was hitting everything like full power and he didn't give me any rhythm.

“I played well since the beginning, he just played more aggressive, faster, hitting to the sides and didn't miss. I stepped in a little bit more, started to play with more trajectory to push him back a little bit from the baseline, and, in general, I think I pumped myself up to play, to increase to an even higher level. I'm really proud of that.”

Moscow-born baseliner Medvedev moved fluidly, controlled the longer exchanges, out-aced the 6'10" American six to four, permitted just five points on first serve and did not drop serve in a commanding 60-minute performance that left admiring captain Marat Safin kicking back on the team bench drinking chocolate milk in the latter stages. 

"A great achievement [out-acing Isner]," Medvedev said. "I mean of course if you would have asked me before the match I didn't think it would be possible. I'm really happy with myself today.

"There was only one game on my serve where I got tight and he had his break point.  I was really stable on my serve, really good on my return, so I'm really happy."

Medvedev bamboozled the former all American at Georgia with a dipping return to earn double break point in the seventh game. Isner again tried attacking net, but Medvedev stretched him with a backhand down the line before banging a backhand into the open court snatching the first break for 4-3.

Reading Isner's serve as clearly as the scoreboard in front of him, Medvedev earned a pair of set points in the ninth game.

Measuring his backhand, the Russian rapped his two-handed down the line seizing his fourth consecutive game for a one-set lead.

The fifth-ranked Medvedev, who posted a 59-21 record and reached his first career Grand Slam final at the US Open, said it's vital to make a fast start to 2020.

"I'm feeling good," Medvedev said. "Of course really happy to get two wins at the start of the season. After last season I had it's really important to the start of the season just to continue to be confident in yourself. And I'm really happy about it."

The 24-team event is being contested in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney round-robin stages through January 12th.

The six winners of each group and the top two second-place finishers advance to the Final Eight beginning on Thursday in Sydney.


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