ATP Cup: Russia into semifinals after Medvedev edges ill-tempered clash with Argentina’s Schwartzman
Russia booked their spot in the semifinals of the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia as singles victories from Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov gave them an unassailable lead in their tie against Argentina.
World number five Medvedev defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a fiery singles rubber, putting Russia 2-0 up in the tie after Khachanov had earlier seen off Guido Pella 6-2 7-6 (7-4) at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.
The result means the doubles match between the nations is a dead rubber as Russia booked their spot in the semifinal, where they will meet either Serbia or Canada.
The Russian team, captained by two-time Grand Slam winner Marat Safin, are proving tough to beat Down Under.
Medvedev and Khachanov, both 23, again proved their mettle against the battling Argentine duo of Pella and Schwartzman.
Medvedev in particular faced a stern test from world number 13 Schwartzman, who fought back to take the second set against the giant Russian before Medvedev asserted control in the third.
The match included moments of brilliance such as one outrageous shot from around the net from Medvedev
But it was also punctuated by a feisty exchange between Medvedev and Schwartzman at the end of one game, prompting the umpire to intervene.
Medvedev later appeared to hit the umpire’s chair twice in the second set after Schwartzman broke him in the second set, earning him a point penalty for a second warning.
OK, Medvedev is melting down. Hitting Mo's chair twice. Point penalty for Russia. Default coming?... pic.twitter.com/1O269uxA1Z— Del (@Stroppa_Del) January 9, 2020
But the combustible Russian managed to keep his cool and send his country into the last four in Australia.
Elsewhere, hosts Australia booked their spot in the semifinals after duo Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur edged out Great Britain’s Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury in a nail-biting decisive doubles rubber.
With the match level at 1-1, the Aussie pairing won an epic ‘sudden death’ tie-break 18-16.
Australia will play either Spain or Belgium on Saturday for a place in the final.