ATP Cup - Bautista Agut
Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut celebrates winning his group stage match against Chile's Cristian Garin on the opening day of ATP Cup on Saturday. Image Credit: Reuters

Sydney: Spain and Argentina both won their ATP Cup ties with some ease as men’s professional tennis returned for the 2022 season in the lucrative team tournament at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Saturday.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta made light of the absence of Rafa Nadal with contrasting victories over Chileans Cristian Gar”.O-n and Alejandro Tabilo.

Carreno Busta was forced to come from 0-3 down in both sets, and again from 1-3 in the decisive tiebreak, before overcoming tricky lefthander Tabilo 6-4 7-6 (4) in the first match of the year on Ken Rosewall Arena.

Bautista Agut then steamrollered world number 17 Garin 6-0 6-3 to give the Spaniards an unassailable lead in the Group A tie ahead of the doubles rubber.


“It was very early on the first day of the year to play tennis,” said Bautista Agut, the world number 19.

“Today was a good start for me, I played a very solid game, I felt had a good rhythm, a good speed on the ball, I’m really happy.” Federico Delbonis earlier made light work of Aleksandre Metreveli with a 6-1 6-2 win at the Sydney Super Dome to give Argentina a 1-0 lead in their Group D tie against Georgia.

Diego Schwartzman then trounced Nikoloz Basilashvili by the same score before Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni beat Zura Tkemaladze and Saba Purtseladze, again 6-1 6-2, in the doubles.

The third edition of the $10 million tournament has 16 teams divided into four groups playing at two venues at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

Meanwhile, world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas pulled out of his singles match with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday due to a niggling right elbow issue before returning to partner Michail Pervolarakis in the doubles rubber.

Tsitsipas was forced to retire from the second round of the Paris Masters and lost his opening match against Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals in November before withdrawing from the season-ending tournament due to the injury.

The 23-year-old Greek, who had posted pictures of himself on a hospital bed during the off-season following surgery, sported an ice pack on his right arm in Sydney before his scheduled meeting with world number nine Hurkacz.

He was eventually replaced by Aristotelis Thanos, who was beaten 6-1 6-2 by Hurkacz as Poland grabbed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie. Kamil Majchrzak had earlier beaten Pervolarakis 6-1 6-4.

Tsitsipas had earlier played down concerns that the injury would derail his campaign at the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 17 saying his withdrawal was a “precautionary step” to ensure he remains fit for the Grand Slam.