ATP Cup: Daniil Medvedev suffers a crushing defeat against Yugo Humbert

Daniil Medvedev suffered a shock defeat in his opening match of the season against France’s Ugo Humbert in the ATP Cup on Sunday, dealing a blow to preparations for the Australian Open. The US Open champions are leading a Russian team in Sydney reeling from injuries and Covid-19 as they look to defend the title they won against Italy last year. But world number two Medvedev, who won four tour-level titles in 2021, was stunned by the impressive 35th-ranked Yugo Humbert on a hot Sydney day.

The Frenchman made a major upset from the set-down in a grueling 2 hours 55 minutes of 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) as Medvedev, red-faced from the heat, Ran out of steam.

“It was very tough today, but I am very happy,” Humbert said after one of the biggest victories of his career.

“I had a few chances in the first set, and I just tried to be comfortable, focus on what I had to do and it was a great match.”

Unhinged Roman Safiulin was drafted as Russia’s second singles player, with fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev missing after contracting the coronavirus at the Abu Dhabi exhibition last month.

Ranked 167, he saved 15 of 19 break points to set the stage for Medvedev in a 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over France’s Arthur Rinderknecht, who was defending this month. top seed at the Australian Open. Champion Novak Djokovic failed to perform.

Djokovic has declined to confirm whether he has been vaccinated against COVID-19, a requirement for the opening Grand Slam of the year, and has been ruled out of the ATP Cup.

The Russia-French match went into the deciding doubles.

Russia are in a tough ATP Cup group that also includes hosts Australia and 2021 runners-up Italy, led by world number 7 Matteo Berrettini.

They play each other in an evening tie, in which Berrettini faces Alex de Minaur.

In the teams event, only the winning nations from each of the four groups advance to the semi-finals, which runs until 9 January.

In the second night’s match, Alexander Zverev’s Germany goes up against a British team led by Cameron Norie, who had a breakout in the 2021 season that saw him storm through the rankings to finish at 12.

Meanwhile, the United States won their clash against Canada, with large serving veteran John Isner defeating Breden Schner 6–1, 6–3 when he made a move at short-notice for 14th-ranked Denis Shapovalov. , who passed out with fatigue.

The 22-year-old is still struggling after testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Sydney, then spending time in isolation.

“I’m disappointed not to play the first match, but I didn’t feel physically ready yet, so we did what was best for the team,” Shapovalov said. double rubber.

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Taylor Fritz defeated 11th-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassim 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-4.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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