World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev has led Russia to the ATP Cup semifinal and he now hopes to help his country win it all at the tournament. On Wednesday, Medvedev saw off 2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-4 to clinch a victory for Russia over Japan.
Medvedev blew an early first-set break but then claimed back-to-back breaks and won four games in a row to easily win the opener. Nishikori competed better in the second set but he dropped his serve in the ninth game and Medvedev served out for the match in the 10th game.
“[I am] really happy for the team," Medvedev said. "[Reaching the] semi-finals is a big step… [I am] really happy that we made it in both singles. [Both matches were] straight sets, so really happy for the team and hopefully we can go further than that”.
Medvedev could again face Novak Djokovic
In last year's ATP Cup semifinal, the Russians were beaten by Serbia. Back then, world No. 1 Djokovic beat Medvedev in one of the two singles rubbers played. Russia will face either Serbia or Germany in this year's semifinal.
Medvedev wasn't the only one that helped Russia book a semifinal spot as Andrey Rublev beat Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the opening rubber of the tie. Rublev, ranked at No. 8 in the world, easily handled Nishioka as he won 6-1 6-3.
"I played really well today... I'm happy the way I'm playing. I'm happy that I'm feeling confident in my shots, that I'm trying to go big and in the end I feel that I will make it," said Rublev.
"I was missing this feeling, I was missing competing and the first two matches went really well so we'll see what's going to happen next." Both Medvedev and Rublev have been playing great so far and Russia will need them to keep it that way if they want to have a shot at winning the title.