Mighty Russia secures ATP Cup semi-final ticket

Standing as the only country with two top-10 players, Russia is looking like the team to beat so far at the ATP Cup and one of the title contenders.

Following a strong performance against Argentina, Russia ousted Japan 2-0, led by Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev. Rublev defeated Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-3 in 64 minutes, hitting 21 winners and 17 unforced errors and delivering strong numbers on both serve and return. The Russian saved two out of three break points and stole 55% of the return points, enough for five breaks that carried him home.

Nishioka made a promising start, breaking Rublev in the opening game before the Russian took charge and claimed six consecutive games for 6-1. Andrey saved more good returns for set number two, producing two breaks to move over the top and send Russia in front.

World no. 4 Daniil Medvedev earned the 12th consecutive victory, beating Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes to punch Russia's semi-final ticket. Daniil fired nine aces and dropped 14 points in nine service games, losing serve once and stealing Kei's serve four times to cross the finish line in style.

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