The wait is now over with the best of three series in the main ATP Cup final is underway. It was going to occur sometime last night. But the unexpected day off on Thursday after a positive COVID test from a hotel quarantine worker changed things. When the center of attention focuses on both Italy and Russia at Rod Laver Arena.
Andrey Rublev fired off well with the conversions needed to move ahead of Fabio Fognini for Russia. Where Rublev was well ahead by the initial halfway stage 3-0. Before he wrapped up the early lead without too much hassle 6-1. Fognini on the other hand unable to find the feel he wanted firsthand for Italy. The consolation point was there when Fognini catched up a bit halfway. But it was way too late by that stage to bounce back. When he lost the 1st set to Rublev.
Both Rublev & Fognini went side by side when play resumed at the start of Stage 2. But Rublev pulled off the same momentum as it was from the 1st set. With a healthy lead within the halfway mark before he got the job done for Russia 6-1, 6-2. As his team lead the ATP Cup final in the best of three 1-0. With the 2nd singles match set to begin immediately. When Daniil Medevev take on Matteo Berrettini.
Rublev performed outstanding for the whole time with his conversion skillet. And he will need support from Medevev to get the job done for Russia in the 2nd singles tie. As Russia is one game away from winning this tournament. Even if it means one game early ahead of the doubles. They would want to go into the 3rd tie without any pressure. Does not matter if Russia wrap up the final 2-1 or 3-0.
Fognini on the other hand did improve a bit this time after a poor 1st stage showing. But he still lack the strengths that Rublev demonstrated. So Fognini at least catch midway in the 2nd stage. And give Italy hope towards going into a tiebreaker for the doubles tie. It is now up for Berrettini to compensate the 1st singles loss for Italy. In a way to tie 1-1 apiece himself if he wants to guide Italy to a first ATP Cup title.