Russia, Italy in ATP Cup semis, hosts Australia keep hopes alive - GulfToday

Russia, Italy in ATP Cup semis, hosts Australia keep hopes alive

Daniil Medvedev

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev returns to Japan’s Kei Nishikori during their ATP Cup match in Melbourne on Wednesday. Associated Press

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev won their respective singles matches on Wednesday to help Russia join Italy in the semi-finals of the team-based ATP Cup in Melbourne. ATP Finals winner Medvedev took down Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-4 after Rublev’s dominant 6-1 6-3 win again Yoshihito Nishioka, setting up Russia’s second victory in Group D after the side defeated Argentina on Tuesday.

Germany also boosted their semi-final chances by defeating Canada in Group A to set up a knockout tie against defending champions Serbia on Thursday.

World number six Stefanos Tsitsipas levelled the Group B tie for Greece against Australia with a 6-3 7-5 win over Alex de Minaur after John Millman gave the hosts the lead with a 6-2 6-3 win over Michail Pervolarakis.

John Peers and Luke Saville then clinched a 6-3 4-6 (10-5) doubles win over Tsitsipas and Pervolarakis to help Australia win the tie 2-1 and keep their semi-final hopes alive after Tuesday’s 3-0 drubbing by Spain.

With the second edition of the competition truncated because of Australian Open coronavirus quarantine, victory for Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini in the singles combined with Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Austria ensured Italy would top Group C.

Fognini downed Benoit Paire 6-1 7-6(2) in the opening match of the day on John Cain Arena before Matteo Berrettini outwitted Gael Monfils 6-4 6-2 to make France’s doubles win academic.

The Germany-Canada Group A tie, four of the fives sets in the two singles matches were decided by tiebreakers.

Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff dominated the first two and finished off Milos Raonic with a thumping ace for a 7-6(4) 7-6(2) win that gave Germany a 1-0 lead.

After losing 2-1 to Novak Djokovic’s Serbia on Tuesday, Canada needed to win the tie to stay alive in the competition and Denis Shapovalov made a positive start by taking the first set against Alexander Zverev but the world number seven German levelled by taking the second set.

In a tight deciding set, Zverev was unable to convert seven break points as Shapovalov dug deep.

Shapovalov had his chances in the decisive tiebreak but an unforced error and a double fault at crucial moments opened the door for Zverev and the German stormed through it with his 14th and 15th aces for a 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(4) win.

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