Andrey Rublev fired off in the 1st singles game early for Russia. At least up to the initial halfway stage 3-3. Until when Jan-Lennard Struff came out from behind.
And Struff dominated the 2nd half of the first set. Where he leads 6-3 for his Germany side. With not much progress there from Rublev. After he threw the racket down in agony. It does not mean Rublev does not have to throw away altogether.
When he took a different approach this time. And it sound much better than it was in the first stage. With a bigger lead to build that momentum 3-0. While Lennard-Struff took the late point. It still gave a huge chance for Rublev to get the job done. As he took this 1st singles match to a tiebreaker. After he won Stage 2, 6-1.
Rublev may have been frustrated at one point. Trying to find what went wrong initially. And how he can turn this around to keep Russia in the hunt. Well this guy fortunately never gave up. When he kept that consistency into a crucial final tiebreaker. With the early lead 3-0 before Rublev won the first singles match in style.
The final score is 6-3 to Lennard-Struff in the 1st set. But Rublev would not mind take the rest that would give Russia the upper hand. 6-1 in the 2nd set & won 6-2 in the tiebreaker. With the 2nd singles match will come shortly. When Alexander Zverev take on Daniil Medvedev. And see if Russia can wrap up the semi-final 2-0.
Both players in this match up played so well. Jan-Lennard Struff got that fired up edge that prevented Rublev to close down. And take the early lead that saw Rublev frustrate in agony. The emotions may have affected Russia. But Struff unfortunately did not find the same momentum/consistency. In which denied his ability to take away the 2nd set. That would have ended the game early. And left it without any options in the end.
While Rublev is such a superstar in the making. He would like to get it done perfectly. Where he struggled to catch up to Struff initially. But worried about the ending. And took his time with patience that kept it simple. Before Rublev got it done both the 2nd set & tiebreaker. As he should be proud of himself to put Russia up front. With one game away from the final if Medvedev can escape Zverev.
It has been a very intense match of tennis so far in Group A. Canada may have been eliminated of the ATP Cup finals. This centrepiece focuses on Germany v Serbia.
Serbia already have lost the first game via Dusan Lajovic. After he was run down by Jan Lennard-Struff 6-3, 3-6 & 4-6. While team-mate Novak Djokovic may not have fired off well in Stage 1. Despite an initial reprieve gone wrong in the tiebreaker 3-7.
But Novak bounced back comfortably in Stage 2 7-2. Before he was able to just close out on Alexander Zverev. 6-7 (tiebreaker 3-7), 7-2 & 7-5. And give Serbia a 2nd chance going into the doubles decider. That would be the next winner able to advance in the semis. As both teams share 1-1 each after 2 games.
Novak Djokovic/Nikola Cacic v Jan-Lennard Struff/Alex Zverev. 3rd and final match in the doubles of Group A. Serbia went off to a good start against Germany 2-1. But got stuck midway through Stage 1 4-4. And unable to find the 2nd half middle ground for the initial mini win. With Germany ahead 7-6 after 7-4 tiebreaker.
But Serbia did not give up just yet in the 2nd Stage. When they were able to catch up Germany 3-3. Serbia were nearly left out of the semi-final place at the 1st attempt. Having held them up at 5-5 before they won this set 7-5. In which gave Serbia another reprieve to try & this series 2-1. Ahead of the key tiebreaker.
Things have shown some promise this time for Serbia. With a great base to bridge that execution zone 4-2. But they unfortunately lost their way in the last half though. And it ultimately cost Serbia a semi-final invite v Russia. Where Germany was able to make up some lost time. Full result is 6-7 with Germany won the first tiebreaker. 7-5 in the 2nd set claimed by Serbia. And Germany wrapped the tiebreaker at 10-7 for the win in the end.
Serbia came so close to advancing the semis. They were saved by Djokovic in the 2nd singles match. Almost gone before the doubles about to start. And credit to him on giving them every hope. Especially in the doubles that led to a tiebreaker. It is just a lack of middle ground & support that left Djokovic frustrated. Some of the displays are always there. But not enough on most singles games without Djokovic.
While Germany is on a roll here with a 1st singles game advantage. Almost able to fight off Djokovic alone. Not enough to go into a decider 1-1. But they created momentum created out of nowhere. And used the physical/mental groundwork to upset Djokovic/Cacic. In which allowed to pull off these conversions. And earned their ticket in the 1st semis spot v Russia.