Intercontinental rackets: with whom the Russians are better to play in 1/2 of the ATP Cup

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The semi-finalist in Group D of the ATP Tennis Cup held in Melbourne was determined ahead of schedule after two playing days. The Russian team with the same score 2: 1, having won first Argentina, and then Japan, guaranteed themselves the first place in this trio. Moreover, both successes were achieved according to the same scenario – two wins in single meetings, and the couple did not decide anything.

A relative of “spring football”

Yes, on paper, the Russians were the undisputed favorites of the group and one of the contenders for victory in the tournament. But this list included, for example, the team of Canada, which after the same two days of the tournament no longer has a chance to get into the playoffs. Rating is rated, but after the offseason, the readiness of some tennis players still leaves much to be desired. However, this does not apply to ours. In singles matches Andrei Rublev and Daniil Medvedev left their opponents no chance, winning all four matches in two sets.

“I really like the game of the Russian national team,” Honored Coach of Russia Boris Sobkin told Izvestia. – It is clear that the guys are still far from the tennis that was shown in the best moments of the last season. But it is obvious that both Rublev and Medvedev are well prepared for the season, from game to game they are gaining confidence and feel that they have not lost their level.

Rublev looked especially powerful, giving his opponents only seven games in two games. However, this is due to Andrey’s status – he is the eighth racket in the world, and played against tennis players from the fifth and sixth dozen ratings. So far, all the best qualities of the Russian, which ensured him last year’s breakthrough into the elite, are in place. Rublev has almost the best forehand in the world and an attitude towards attacking play. And even problems with the percentage of hits on the first serve did not prevent him from dominating the court. To such an extent that after the second victory, the presenter in charge of the flash interview at the court began to ask the Russian not about the last meeting, but about his passion for music.

– At the beginning of the season, no matter who you play with, it is very important to win over yourself, – says Boris Sobkin. – Find inner balance, feel that everything is in place. Therefore, it is not so important who the opponent is – now everyone is not exactly equal, but they are in the same conditions. Do you know the term “spring football” when players are just getting in shape after a long break? Here I use a similar one – “January tennis”. You don’t know where you will find, where you will lose.

It is clear that there are a lot of roughness on the court – both Rublev and Medvedev. But this is not something that the fans should pay attention to now, let the coaches work. This year is generally specific: usually tennis players of this level play quite rarely in the week right before the start of the Grand Slam tournament. Usually these days are used for grinding.

We are waiting for revenge

Daniil Medvedev had to spend more energy, but his rivals were of a different caliber. The ninth number of the ATP rating Diego Schwartzman is considered one of the best defense specialists in the world, and Kei Nishikori, although he was not noticeable recently due to injuries, but not so long ago occupied the same place in the table of ranks that is now a Russian. and back in 2019, he played in the quarterfinals of three major majors out of four in a season.

It is noteworthy that both of them imposed a fight on Medvedev at times, but they never made it to at least one tie-break for two. At decisive moments, Daniel found the necessary reserves to strengthen the game, while the opponents, on the contrary, were blown away. Therefore, the first number of the Russians did not give the fans a reason to worry about themselves. Medvedev rebuilt in time if his tennis ceased to be effective. In addition, at key moments, his serve began to fly, and even Shvartsman, famous for his game at the reception, was powerless.

Now, on Thursday, the Russian national team will rest and watch who will get it in the semifinals. There are two options. This is the current winner of the tournament Serbia or Germany, which will come together face to face. By the way, last year the Russians lost exactly in the semifinals, and it was to the Serbs, who came with the same composition – the first racket of the world, Novak Djokovic and Dusan Lajovic. Is it time to take revenge?

“From the point of view of prestige, it would certainly be better to play with Serbia,” Merited Coach of Russia Vladimir Kamelzon told Izvestia. – Germany has a good team, it will be difficult to play with both opponents, and it is an honor to win both of them. But Sasha Zverev is still like a book we have read, and Novak Djokovic is still number one. The point is not so much that the Serbs beat us with the same squad last year, but that it is always interesting to play with the leaders, with the best. And what a team we have! She should have already started winning everything she can.

As for the other groups, in addition to the Russians, representatives of Italy have already guaranteed themselves participation in the semifinals. And in one more top three before the last day the Spaniards look the favorite. The semi-finals are scheduled for February 5, the finals are scheduled for February 6.

Melbourne (Australia), ATP Cup

The prize fund is $ 4,500,000. Outdoor courts, hard

Group D

Russia – Argentina – 2: 1

Andrey Rublev – Guido Pella – 6: 1, 6: 2

Daniil Medvedev – Diego Schwartzman – 7: 5, 6: 3

Aslan Karatsev / Andrey Rublev – Maximo Gonzalez / Horacio Ceballos – 4: 6

Russia – Japan – 2: 1

Andrey Rublev – Yoshihito Nishioka – 6: 1, 6: 3

Daniil Medvedev – Kei Nishikori – 6: 1, 6: 4

Aslan Karatsev / Evgeny Donskoy – Ben Maclachlan / Yoshihito Nishioka – 6: 4, 3: 6, 10:12

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