(Reuters) -The Russian Tennis Federation will play Croatia in the Davis Cup final after U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev comfortably beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-4 to give his team an unassailable 2-0 lead in their semi-final tie on Saturday.
Medvedev’s win came after Andrey Rublev had demolished Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-0 earlier in Madrid to set up a meeting with the 2018 champions Croatia on Sunday.
Rublev smashed down six aces in the first set and world number 58 Koepfer wilted remarkably as the Russian broke at every opportunity in the second to wrap up the opening match in 49 minutes.
Rublev’s ruthless performance was a marked improvement from his quarter-final match against Elias Ymer when he won the first set but missed several break point opportunities in the second and was taken to a decider.
“The difference today was compared to other matches (where) I was feeling I’m winning quite easy, I don’t need to (put in) much effort, and in the end I was completely relaxed. I was giving up to the other guy,” he told a news conference.
“Then they start to play better, start to shoot better. Then I was losing or winning in three sets.
“The difference today was since the beginning, I was pumped, (focused) more on winning, to play as better as I can, to not give any hope.”
The doubles match is now a dead rubber with the Russians going into their first Davis Cup final since 2007. However, they will face a Croatia side who are in high spirits after overcoming a Novak Djokovic-led Serbia on Friday.
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Rohith Nair)