Rising Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini has lavished praise on Russian peer Daniil Medvedev after losing the second match in the final of the ATP Cup in Melbourne on Sunday.
Berrettini’s 4-6, 2-6 loss to the 2020 ATP Finals champion followed Andrey Rublev’s commanding 6-1, 6-2 win over veteran Fabio Fognini, giving Russia its maiden ATP Cup triumph.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, the current World Number 10 conceded that the Italians came up against two very strong opponents.
Matteo Berrettini lauds his teammates despite crushing ATP Cup final loss
Matteo also lauded his fallen teammates for making the final of the prestigious team event for the first time.
He said despite the crushing loss in the final, his team can take a lot of pride in the way they fought their way past stronger and more fancied opponents on the way to the final.
“I wanna say congrats to my team because it was the first time for the ATP Cup for me and this team. I had an unbelievable week, we had a lot of fun,” Berrettini said.
On the Russians, the Italian said, “These two guys are really tough. Congrats guys, you played an unbelievable week. I think an unbelievable two years, so far.”
Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in action during his semi final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Kelly Defina
Italy loses ATP Cup title to Russia
Italy battled past Spain, sans 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, in the semi-final to clinch their place in the title round.
Berrettini brought his superior skill-sets to bear against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to clinch his semi-final tie 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday.
However, the Russians were the clear favorites going into Sunday’s final as both Medvedev and Rublev have carried on with their golden run of form from the last season.
Medvedev finished the last season with championship wins at Rolex Paris Masters and the ATP Finals, two big-ticket events on the men’s calendar.
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His compatriot won five Tour titles, the most across the men’s and women’s fields, in what was a breakthrough 2020 season.