2021 ATP Cup final: Russia rolls to title behind singles stars Rublev and Medvedev

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Fabio Fognini took only three games in total against Andrey Rublev as Russia got off to a fast start in Sunday's ATP Cup final. Daniil Medvedev wasted no time sealing the deal, beating Matteo Berrettini in straight sets to clinch the title.

Russia raced the 2021 ATP Cup title by sweeping the two singles matches against Italy on Sunday. After Andrey Rublev kicked off the final in emphatic fashion with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Fabio Fognini in the opening singles rubber, Daniil Medvedev clinched the trophy by beating Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-2.

What you need to know: Russia undefeated in singles en route to title

The Russians did not have to play a single meaningful doubles rubber throughout the entirety of its ATP run. That’s because both Rublev and Medvedev went 4-0 in singles. In fact, the two singles stars dropped only one set each the whole week.

Fognini is not alone when it comes to getting erased by Rublev at the ATP Cup. In four singles matches, nobody was any match for him. The world No 8 had previously destroyed Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-1, 6-2 and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-3. Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff managed to steal the opening set in their semi-final showdown, but Rublev quickly woke up to take the next two frames 6-1, 6-2.

Much unlike Struff on Saturday, Fognini never sank his teeth into the contest. The world No 17 won just two points in the first three games and managed to win only one game in the first set. It was almost a bagel, but Fognini saved one break point to hold in the fourth game. The 33-year-old also fought off a break point to hold for 1-0 in the second, but he added just one more game the rest of the way.

“I was playing really well all week since the first match and I was just going on court thinking that I needed to fight for every ball,” Rublev explained. “I played Fabio before six times and I lost a few times really tough matches — really painful ones. I knew it didn’t matter, the score; he always has a chance. He always knows how to come back, so I was trying to keep going no matter the score. In the end, I’m really happy with the way it went today and the way I played today.”

Medvedev made it a quick afternoon at the office for everyone involved, as he downed Berrettini in one hour and 21 minutes. The world No 4 saved the only two break points he faced while breaking Berrettini three times.

The world No 4’s tournament also included victories over Diego Schwartzman, Kei Nishikori, and Alexander Zverev.

Australian Open up next

All four singles participants in the ATP Cup final are in the bottom half of the Australian Open draw, so it only makes sense that they will be playing on Tuesday instead of Monday. Medvedev and Rublev are in the same quarter, while Berrettini and Fognini are in a section with Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Berrettini has an intriguing first-round encounter on his hands against Kevin Anderson.

ATP Cup draw and results

Also read: Nadal v Djokovic, Tsitsipas brothers, father and son Thiem – 8 things you need to know about the ATP Cup

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