Semi final time in the Davis Cup. Focus on Medvedev against Struff which followed Rublev versus Koepfer . Andrey winning comfortably 6-4 6-0 heaping the pressure on Daniil to close it out. Madrid crowd was not feeling the Russians but Daniil showed little nerves. Struff employed serve and volley tactics mid games a lot. Nor s bad tact against one of the world’s best baseliners.Check out 1-1(15-15). They were confident holds of serve from both players. This until the 9th game at 4-4. Watch 40-30). Being a tall fellow, the lowly return makes it difficult for Struff to get height on the volley at the net. The single break was enough to win Russia the set 6-4.
How to handle being in the receiving end of an overhead smash. Check out second set 1-0(40-30). Come inside the baseline to cut the angle. It is for the better that the ball cones straight at you like it did here for Struff, despite danger of bodily harm. The backhand didn’t come off but the idea was correct from the German. One sensed that the next break of serve needed to be Struff’s if he was ever to win this match. That didn’t happen. A rush of blood to the head by Jan at 2-2(30-40) , hitting the forehand well long gave it to Daniil. Daniil’s key to victory was his ability to mix it up at the baseline and net. Check out 3-2(40-0). The guy who commits the most unforced errors in the last 3 games of a tight set more or less loses the game. Struff guilty of such. He did have a glimmer of hope though at 5-4 with Daniil serving for the match. The Russian US Open champ pulling the rabbit out of the hat huge first serves at 30-40 and deuce. The win was secured by another botched volley at the net by Struff to spark a snarky celebration from the Russian, pointing to the hard court which he said was inspired by CR7. Novak couldn’t inspire the Serbs against Croatia so the final is RTF versus the Cilic led side. Serbs found wanting in the doubles and second seeds singles matches. It is a team tournament after all.