MELBOURNE: Daniil Medvedev enjoyed the perfect Australian Open preparation as he fired Russia to victory in the US$7.5 million ATP Cup with a dominant 6-4, 6-2 win over Italy's Matteo Berrettini in Melbourne on Sunday (Feb 7).
With Andrey Rublev having thrashed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2 in the opening singles, world number four Medvedev sealed the tie 2-0 at Rod Laver Arena as the rampaging Russians stormed to the title undefeated.
While outstanding in the first set, Medvedev reached another level in the second, outpointing world number 10 Berrettini with a procession of sparkling winners as he roared to a 5-1 lead.
Berrettini saved two match points and held serve to claw back a game, leaping in the air with an ironic celebration and a wry grin at his team mates.
Medvedev let a third match point disappear but sealed it on the fourth with a booming serve down the "T".
Russia were the only team with two players ranked in the top 10, and it showed as they made short work of Japan, Argentina and Germany on the way to the final.
Rublev had never beaten Fognini in three matches on hardcourts, but hammered the Italian to send Russia hurtling toward the trophy.
He finished with a 4-0 record for the tournament, dropping only one set, in an outstanding support role.