ATP Cup: Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev sink Argentina

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ATP Cup: Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev sink Argentina

Sending two top-10 players to the ATP Cup as the only nation, Russia made a winning start in Melbourne, beating Argentina 2-1. Continuing where he left last year, Andrey Rublev ousted Guido Pella 6-1, 6-2 in an hour. Rublev hit 22 winners and 14 unforced errors, producing aggressive tennis and fending off both break points to mount the pressure on the other side.

Pella wasn't even close to those numbers, giving away half of the points behind the initial shot and experiencing four breaks to propel the Russian over the top. Andrey closed the opening game with a service winner and saved a break chance at 1-1 to remain in front.

Pella netted a forehand in the fourth game to fall 3-1 behind before Rublev placed a forehand winner that cemented the break for him and sent him further ahead. Andrey secured another break with a volley winner to move 5-1 up and sealed the set with a forehand down the line winner a few minutes later.

Russia defeated Argentina with two singles victories.

Guido saved break points to avoid another setback in the second set's third game and created a chance on the return in the next one, denied by a strong attack from Rublev.

The Russian grabbed a break at 2-2 and another in game seven to forge a 5-2 advantage, sealing the deal in the next game to wrap up a rock-solid performance and send Russia in front. In the second match, Daniil Medvedev defeated Diego Schwartzman for the sixth time in as many encounters to secure Russia's overall victory.

Daniil beat Diego 7-5, 6-3 in the clash with eight breaks of serve, winning 12 points more and extending his winning streak against the Argentine. The Russian grabbed a break in game two and hit a service winner in the next one to open a 3-0 gap and settle into a nice rhythm.

Schwartzman pulled the break back in game five and came back from 5-3 down with a late break to level the score at 5-5, fending off two set points behind the initial shot in that tenth game. Staying composed, Daniil held after deuce in game 11 and grabbed a break at love to take the opener 7-5 after an hour.

Serving at 3-4 in set number two, Diego wasted a game point and suffered a break to fall 5-3 down, allowing Medvedev to seal the deal in the next game and complete Russia's victory.