Daniil Medvedev secured a hard-fought and fiery victory over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and propelled Russia into the semifinals of the inaugural team event. However, the match was slightly marred by indiscipline, as the ATP Cup continues to serve up intensely contested matches.
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Trouble started when Medvedev exchanged words with Schwartzman as both players went to their team zones at each end of the court.
Mohammed Lahyani got out of his umpire’s chair to get between the players, and later gave Medvedev a code violation for unsporting conduct for going on with the verbal exchange.
Seven games later, Medvedev approached the chair and asked about the code violation. He hit the umpire’s chair and was warned for it, and then hit again and got a point penalty, meaning Schwartzman started the next game with a 15-0 lead.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 9, 2020
Medvedev, ranked five in the world and undefeated in singles this tournament, won 6-4 4-6 6-3 in Sydney and will lead Russia against the winner of Novak Djokovic-led Serbia or Canada.
Earlier, Russia’s Karen Khachanov defeated an out-of-sorts Guido Pella from Argentina, 6-2 7-6(4), with the victories giving Russia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the quarter-final tie ahead of the doubles match.
With Russian team captain Marat Safin sitting in his corner, Medvedev broke his opponent’s serve twice – and gave one break back – in an entertaining first set, where his slapping forehand ebbed between sublime and out-of-control.
World number 13 Schwartzman got better as the match progressed, attacking relentlessly.
The crowd turned against Medvedev, and the Russian looked ready to implode, though it proved to be only a partial flare-up.
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) January 9, 2020
Schwartzman won the second set but Medvedev recovered to take the decider, with the 1.98m (6 feet 6 inches) Russian increasingly relying on his booming serve to get himself out of trouble when tested.
(With agency inputs)