Daniil Medvedev described Russia’s 2-1 victory against France on Sunday at ATP Cup as one of the most emotional days of his career as he partnered Roman Safiullin to ensure the reigning champion made a winning start in Sydney.
The World No. 2 watched Safiullin battle back to defeat Arthur Rinderknech, before the 25-year-old teamed with the World No. 167 to win the decisive doubles match, after Medvedev had lost to Ugo Humbert in a third-set tie-break in his singles rubber.
“I definitely had some emotional moments in my career, but this one would be in the top three, top five, because just look at Roman’s match,” Medvedev said in Russia’s post-match press conference. “The way he fought back after [a] tough first set where we can say he lost it quite easily, and then the way he fought back, the way he played was unreal.
“Today was really emotional. In the doubles match I had a partner close to me and [it] is different when you have somebody by your side. The emotions I felt during the match already in the doubles when we broke in the second set was unbelievable, and I think I could hold them, but I didn’t want to.”
Following the withdrawals of Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev, Safiullin gained his opportunity for Team Russia and he capitalised on it, earning Russia two points in their opening Group B tie on his debut at the 16-team event.
“It was [a] great day for me,” Safiullin said. “I just won one point. The second point I share with Daniil because we both won, of course. It’s not like I brought two points and Daniil was sitting, like, ‘Come on, Roman’.”
Russia next plays Australia on Qudos Bank Arena on Tuesday.