2021 in Review: Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev claim ATP Cup for Russia

Russia brought two in-form top-10 players to this year’s ATP Cup, which was the recipe for success. Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev scored four singles victories in Melbourne to secure the crown for their country, beating Italy 2-0 in the final after dropping nine games in four sets! Rublev toppled Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2 in 61 minutes in the first encounter, beating the Italian for the first time since Umag 2017. The Russian lost seven points in eight service games and never experienced issues behind the initial shot, firing 23 winners and ten unforced errors and leaving the more experienced opponent far behind.

Andrey held at 15 with an ace in the first game and grabbed a break in the next one when Fognini sprayed a forehand mistake. Rublev landed an ace in game three for a hold at love and a massive advantage in the early stage and moved 4-1 ahead when Fabio netted a backhand. In game six, the Italian hit a double fault to suffer another break, barely walking around the court and playing miles from his best. Serving for the set, Andrey painted a forehand winner for 6-1 in 25 minutes, hoping for more in the rest of the clash. Fognini netted a backhand in the second set’s third game and lost the final 12 points to push Rublev over the top.

Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev brought the ATP Cup title to Russia.

The Italian sent a forehand wide in game seven, and Andrey secured the victory with three winners in the next one to bring Russia’s first point. In the second match, Daniil Medvedev grabbed his 14th consecutive victory and tenth over the top-10 rivals since Paris 2020, ousting Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-2 in 80 minutes to bring the trophy to Russia. Medvedev tamed his strokes nicely and saved both break chances to keep the pressure on the other side. The Italian beat three rivals en route to the final, including Dominic Thiem. However, he could not produce the same level against the Russian, facing 11 break opportunities and giving serve away three times.

Daniil earned a break in the opener’s game three with a running forehand winner and erased two break points in the next one to open a 3-1 gap. The Russian served well in games six, eight and ten and secured the opening set with an ace at 5-4 after 44 minutes. Medvedev lost four points behind the initial shot in set number two and placed a volley winner in game three to forge the advantage. With nothing working his way, Matteo suffered another break at 1-3 and allowed Daniil to seal the deal with a service winner at 5-2 and bring the trophy to Russia.