Team Russia have made a strong start to the ATP Cup with singles wins for both of their top players Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.
Medvedev is coming into the tournament on a 10-match winning streak, which includes seven wins against Top 10 opposition.
Meanwhile Rublev, current World number eight, is the highest ranked number two singles player in this year’s competition, making them a formidable force.
Rublev took to the court first easing past Argentinian number two player Guido Pella 6-1 6-2, before Medvedev beat World number nine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3.
After the match Medvedev was happy with his performance considering the extended break from tennis.
“I’m really happy with the win of the team, because it’s not an individual competition” said Medvedev.
“I have some things that I can improve, but it’s the first match after two months without competition, which is never the same as practice. So I’m happy with the win.
“I think the key when I play Diego is that I serve a little bit better and that’s where I have my chances.
“For example, tonight, I was not really happy with my serve and I could have done better.
“He broke me three times, but I always had chances on his serve, so it’s a little bit tough for him, especially on hard surfaces.”
Before the tournament, Medvedev revealed how much he’d enjoyed last year’s event and how he was looking forward to playing with his new teammates.
“I played [the ATP Cup] last year. Actually, I was the only one to play it from [this year’s] Team Russia. I only thought about this right now” said Medvedev.
“It’s always cool, these team competitions, because it puts you out of the zone a little bit where you are always focusing on yourself… You want to win it as a team.
“You have a team supporting you, behind you, on the bench. It’s something special. We are playing for the country.
“It’s not usual [to have] team competitions in tennis. Actually, I think guys will feel it from the first second, especially [when] there [is] going to be a crowd.”
“Everybody is in [a] great mood, ready to be there for the team. That’s the most important.”
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