SYDNEY ( Associated Press) – Greece missed out on elbow injury victim Stefanos Tsitsipas in singles when Poland beat Poland on the opening day of the 16-team ATP Cup tournament on Saturday.
World number four Tsitsipas made a late return from his match with ninth-ranked Hubert Herkaz, who defeated replacement Aristotelis Thanos 6– to give Poland an unassailable 2–0 lead after Kamil Mazchrzak defeated Michael Pervolarakis 6–6. 1, 6-2. -1, 6-4 before.
Tsitsipas watched from the team bench, with ice wrapped around his right elbow, as 1,076th-ranked Thanos was overtaken by Harkaz.
Greece found some consolation when Tsitsipas combined with Pervolarkis to beat Szyman Wako and Jan Zielinski 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 in doubles.
Tsitsipas had an operation in late November, a concern ahead of this month’s Australian Open.
“Recovery from my elbow surgery is on track and today was a precautionary step to make sure I can make it to Melbourne,” Tsitsipas said. “We will see day by day, match-by-match until then.”
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut led their respective teams to easy wins on Saturday.
Argentina beat Georgia 3–0, while Spain easily beat Chile by equal margins in the tournament being played at two stadiums in Sydney.
World No. 13 Schwartzman beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-2, compatriot Federico Delbonis scored an equal-score win against Alexander Metreveli to give Argentina a 2-0 lead in singles matches.
Maximo González and Andres Molteni then gave Argentina a 3-0 win over Georgian pair of Saba Pertseldze and Jura Tkamladze 6-1, 6-2 in the doubles match.
World number 20 Pablo Carreo Busta gave Spain an early lead as he beat Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) after breaking down in both sets.
Roberto Bautista Agut looked in fine form as he defeated world No. 17 Cristian Garin of Chile 6-0, 6-3 to seal the tie for Spain.
Alejandro Davidovich Focina and Pedro Martínez made a clean sweep with a 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-7 win over Chile’s Tomas Barrios Vera and Tabilo.
Even without Rafael Nadal, who’s preparation for the Australian Open has been hampered by a positive test for the coronavirus, Spain showed why they are among the favorite teams in the tournament.
“Today was a good start for me, a very solid game, really happy. I love these conditions.’
Serbia, which is without world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, later on Saturday, begins his tournament against Norway, led by world number 8 Kasper Roode.
The other eight teams begin play on Sunday: Russia v France, Italy v Australia, Canada v USA and Germany v UK.
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