On the first day of the 16-team ATP Cup tournament, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut led their respective teams to comfortable triumphs.
In the opening ties of the team-based event being played across two Sydney stadiums, Argentina defeated Georgia 3-0, while Spain easily dispatched Chile by the same score.
After compatriot Federico Delbonis won by the same score against Aleksandre Metreveli, world number 13 Schwartzman defeated Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-2 to give Argentina an unassailable 2-0 lead in the singles matches.
In the doubles tie, Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni gave Argentina a 3-0 win by defeating Georgian duo Saba Pertseladze and Zura Tkemaladze 6-1, 6-2 to give Argentina a complete sweep.
In the other match of the day, World No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta gave Spain an early lead by rallying from a break down in both sets to overcome Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo 6-4, 7-6 in the other tie (7-4).
Roberto Bautista Agut was in fine form as he defeated Chile’s Cristian Garin, the world No.17, 6-0, 6-3, to seal the tie for Spain.
With a 7-6 (3), 4-6, 10-7 victory over Chile’s Tomas Barrios Vera and Tabilo, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez completed a clean sweep for Spain.
Even without Rafael Nadal, whose preparation for the Australian Open has been hampered by a positive coronavirus test, Spain demonstrated why they are one of the tournament’s favourites.
“It was a good start for me today, a pretty solid game, and I’m quite thrilled.” “These conditions suit me,” said world No. 19 Bautista Agut.
Serbia, sans world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will play Norway, captained by world No. 8 Casper Ruud, later on Saturday in the first round of the event.
The other tie of the evening pits Greece against Poland, with world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas facing 9th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz in the tournament’s first top-10 rubber.
The remaining eight teams, Russia vs. France, Italy vs. Australia, Canada vs. the United States, and Germany vs. the United Kingdom, begin play on Sunday.