Daniil Medvedev entered Sunday's singles match on a career-best 13-match winning streak, and he extended it further when he defeated Italy's Matteo Berrettini to claim the ATP Cup for Russia, one year after he helped carry them to the semifinals.
While Russia had a taste of victory last year, Italy failed to advance out of the group stage during last year's tournament.
Medvedev, the No. 4 player in the world, beat out Berrettini in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) to take the title. His 14-match success streak dates back to the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters in November, and it certainly hasn't been an easy road.
The 24-year-old has upended 10 Top 10 opponents en route to 14 straight victories.
"Just it's a really big achievement, I would say, because I also didn't lose a match," Medvedev said (h/t Tennis.com). "Yeah, 10 matches against Top 10 opponents—it's a big boost in confidence. Even when you lose, you know you're capable of playing this level, and it helps you for the next time to stand up."
After commanding the first set, Medvedev dropped the first game of the second set but battled back with five straight victories. He dropped one more before holding on for the 6-2 second set victory and the ATP Cup title.
Despite the end result, Berrettini, the World No. 10, was successful throughout Italy's run to second place. He won all of his matches until Sunday's final, and one of those defeats was of World No. 3 Dominic Thiem. In total, he defeated three players in the top 13 of the ATP Rankings en route to the final, where he fell in 80 minutes.
Andrey Rublev's two-set defeat of Fabio Fognini (6-1, 6-2) in the No. 2 singles match cleared the path for Medvedev to clinch the title with a win.
Rublev, the No. 8 player in the world, faced a tough test despite Fognini's No. 17 ranking, considering the Italian won five of the previous six matches between the pair.
But Rublev, like his teammate, won all of his matches at the ATP Cup, and Sunday's No. 2 singles final was no different.
The 23-year-old, who leads the ATP Tour with 45 match wins since the start of last year, took down Fognini in 61 minutes.
"I was trying to work every day as hard as I can and that's it. In the end little bit little by little I was improving... it's a long process," Rublev said (h/t ATP Tour). "You don't improve in one day, it takes years. So in the end, (this) was my journey."
Both Russian players could meet in the Australian Open quarterfinals, according to Tennis.com.