Medvedev puts Russians into final

December 9, 2021
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    Daniil Medvedev serves in his Davis Cup win against Germany's Jan-Lennard StruffDaniil Medvedev has won all four of his singles matches at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals without dropping a set

    Daniil Medvedev put the Russian Tennis Federation into the Davis Cup final with a dominant win over Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff in Madrid.

    In the best-of-three semi-final, world number two Medvedev won 6-4 6-4 to give the Russians a 2-0 lead after Andrey Rublev thrashed Dominik Koepfer.

    World number five Rublev needed just 49 minutes to win 6-4 6-0 in the opener.

    US Open champion Medvedev also looked assured to spark Russian celebrations and tee up Sunday's final with Croatia.

    Croatia booked their spot in the showpiece tie, which takes place in Madrid at 15:00 GMT, with a 2-1 victory over Serbia in Friday's first semi-final.

    The Russians, playing under the name of their federation because the nation is banned from international competition for doping violations, were the pre-tournament favourites and have demonstrated why with some strong performances.

    'You should support me or I'll continue to win' – Medvedev baits Spanish fans

    Medvedev, 25, had won all three of his previous matches without dropping a set and he was never under pressure in this match either.

    That was despite him receiving little support from the Spanish fans, who whistled while he celebrated victory by gesturing to them to calm down and pointing to the court at the Madrid Arena.

    The Russians eliminated hosts Spain in the group stage, which Medvedev also enjoyed reminding the crowd about in his post-match interview.

    "I'm really happy for the team to be in the final, it has been an amazing two weeks so far – beating Spain was the highlight," he said.

    "Beating the home favourites in Madrid made all of us happy in the locker room, it was a nice feeling and I'm happy about it."

    As jeers rang out behind him, he added: "People still don't understand how to make me lose. They should support me. It's OK, guys, I'm just going to continue to win."

    Daniil Medvedev celebrates his Davis Cup winMedvedev has long fed off a crowd's negative energy, notably when he reached the 2019 US Open final

    After an even start where Struff had looked comfortable on serve, a sloppy game from the German helped Medvedev to break for 5-4 and he wrapped up the opening set with another strong hold.

    From that point, it looked unlikely that the Russians would need a deciding doubles match to seal victory.

    Even needing treatment for a nosebleed, shortly after breaking for 3-2 in the second set, and facing a break point as he served for the match, did not disrupt Medvedev's progress as the Russians reached their sixth Davis Cup final.

    They now have a chance to win the event for the first time since 2006.

    Doubts had been raised about Rublev's level after mixed fortunes at the Finals, but he responded with an imperious display against Koepfer in the opening rubber.

    An early break in the first set allowed the world number five to settle and he remained focused throughout a dominant win.

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