Argentina's Diego Schwartzman and Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut led their respective teams to comfortable victories Saturday on the opening day of the 16-team ATP Cup 2022 tournament. (More Tennis News)
Argentina beat Georgia 3-0, while Spain easily accounted for Chile by the same margin in the opening ties of the team-based tournament being played across two Sydney stadiums.
World number 13 Schwartzman defeated Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-2, after compatriot Federico Delbonis won by the same score against Aleksandre Metreveli to give Argentina an unassailable 2-0 lead from the singles matches.
Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni then gave the Argentines a clean sweep defeating Georgian pair Saba Pertseladze and Zura Tkemaladze 6-1, 6-2 in the doubles tie to give Argentina a 3-0 win.
In the day's other tie, World No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta gave Spain an early lead as he rallied from being a break down in both sets to defeat Chile's Alejandro Tabilo 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Roberto Bautista Agut appeared in excellent form as he disposed of Chile's world No.17 Cristian Garin 6-0, 6-3 to seal the tie for Spain. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez clinched a clean sweep for Spain with a 7-6 (3), 4-6, 10-7 win over Chile's Tomas Barrios Vera and Tabilo.
Even without Rafael Nadal, whose preparation for the Australian Open has been disrupted by a positive test for coronavirus, Spain showed why they are among the favored teams at the tournament.
“Today was a good start for me, a very solid game, really happy. I like these conditions," world No.19 Bautista Agut said. Serbia, who are without world No.1 Novak Djokovic, begin their tournament against Norway, led by world No.8 Casper Ruud, later on Saturday.
Greece play Poland in the evening's other tie, which will see the tournament's first top-10 rubber with world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas facing 9th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz. The other eight teams begin play on Sunday: Russia vs. France, Italy vs. Australia, Canada vs. the United States and Germany vs. Britain.