Russia took charge of the second quarter final played out in the night session of the inaugural ATP Cup in Sydney when Karen Khachanov continued his run of form by beating Guido Pella 6-2 7-6(4) in the opening rubber after 98-minutes.
It was important for him to stay mentally strong, maintain his calm and see what's going to come Marat Safin
The world number 17, winner of all his matches this season, was in control throughout against the Argentinian who looked distressed during the first set.
Pella managed to recover in the second, holding serve throughout to keep hs opponent honest, creatingfour break chances in the sixth game, all save with booming serves.
In the tie-break the South American opened up a 3-1 lead only to fall behind 5-2 thanks to a costly double fault from Pella. Two Khachanov service winners closed the rubber
Daniil Medvedev, also unbeaten, quickly took charge when he confronted the world number 13, the diminutive Diego Schwartzman, but lost his concentration in the second and picked up a penalty point for smashing his racket twice into the umpire’s chair during an argument with the official.
He regrouped to race through the third set for a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win to guarantee Russia a place in the last four after two hours and 22-minutes blasting 14 aces and holding off ten break opportunities which fell his opponent’s way.
“The second set and third one (of Medvedev’s match) was high-class tennis from both sides,” Russian captain Marat Safin said, adding that he was “very proud” of his team.
“It was important for him to stay mentally strong, maintain his calm and see what’s going to come.”
The doubles pairing of Teymuraz Gabashvili and Konstantin Kravchuk fished off the tie in style defeating Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 7-6(5) 6-4 to deny the Argentines the satisfaction of a consolation point.