Daniil Medvedev finished 2020 hotter than anyone on the ATP Tour, so it is only fitting that he began 2021 by clinching the ATP Cup title for Russia on Sunday.
The World No. 4 defeated Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-2 to cap a near-perfect singles performance by his country shortly after Andrey Rublev overpowered Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles match.
Russia’s two-headed monster of Medvedev and Rublev dominated throughout the week, winning all eight singles matches they played against some of the best players in the world. They combined to lose just two sets to lead their country to glory at Melbourne Park.
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) February 7, 2021
“I want to thank my team. Andrey won all of his matches,” Medvedev said during the trophy ceremony. “Thank you for being with me here and lifting this trophy in a few moments.”
Medvedev has won a personal-best 14 consecutive matches dating back to the start of last year’s Rolex Paris Masters, with 10 of those triumphs coming against Top 10 opponents. The 24-year-old won the title in Paris-Bercy and then lifted the biggest trophy of his career at the Nitto ATP Finals to finish 2020.
“It’s a really big achievement because I also didn’t lose a match. Yeah, 10 matches against Top 10 opponents, didn’t lose a match in these 10 matches. It’s a big boost in confidence,” Medvedev said.
“Even when you lose, you know that you’re capable of playing this level, and it helps you for the next time to stand up.”
Medvedev has maintained his momentum — and added to it — with his effort at the ATP Cup, where he led Russia to the semi-finals last year.
The 2019 US Open finalist is now arguably the second favourite at the Australian Open behind eight-time champion Novak Djokovic.