ATP Cup | Tsitsipas skips singles, Greece loses to Poland

Serbia, sans Djokovic, struggles past Norway; Spain and Argentina cruise to victories

Stefanos Tsitsipas pulled out of his singles against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz at the ATP Cup on Saturday with an elbow issue, but then took the court for a doubles clash, saying he was taking it “match-by-match”.

The Greek World No. 4 was to face the World No. 9 after compatriot Michail Pervolarakis lost 6-1, 6-4 to Kamil Majchrzak, but Aristotelis Thanos took his place.

The 23-year-old had right elbow surgery in late November after pulling out of the ATP Finals in Turin.

Thanos, ranked 1,076, stood no chance against a polished Hurkacz, who raced past him 6-1, 6-2 to seal the tie for Poland.

But Tsitsipas then appeared for the dead doubles rubber alongside Pervolarakis, showing no obvious signs of the problem as they won 6-4, 5-7, 10-8.

Later, Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic beat Viktor Durasovic 6-2, 7-5 before Norway’s World No. 8 Casper Ruud hit back beating Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 7-5. Serbia won the deciding doubles to take the tie.

Serbia won the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in 2020, but that was with world number one Novak Djokovic. He is not in Sydney after withdrawing last week, heightening doubts over whether he will defend his Australian Open title.

Earlier, Roberto Bautista Agut got Spain off to a perfect start with a crushing 6-0, 6-3 win over World No. 17 Chilean Cristian Garin as he spearheads the team in Rafael Nadal’s absence.

In other action, Argentina cruised past Georgia with World No. 13 Diego Schwartzman annihilating 22nd-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-2 and teammate Federico Delbonis thrashing Aleksandre Metreveli by the same score.

The top team from each of the four groups will make the semifinals.

The results:

Group A: Spain bt Chile 3-0 {Roberto Bautista Agut bt Cristian Garin 6-0, 6-3; Pablo Carreno Busta bt Alejandro Tabilo 6-4, 7-6(4); Alejandro Davidovich Fokina & Pedro Martinez bt Tomas Barrios Vera & Tabilo 7-6(3), 4-6, [10-7]}.

Serbia bt Norway 2-1 {Filip Krajinovic bt Viktor Durasovic 6-2, 7-5; Dusan Lajovic lost to Casper Ruud 3-6, 5-7; Nikola Cacic & Krajinovic bt Durasovic & Ruud 7-6(3), 6-3}.

Group D: Poland bt Greece 2-1 {Kamil Majchrzak bt Michail Pervolarakis 6-1, 6-4; Hubert Hurkacz bt Aristotelis Thanos 6-1, 6-2; Hurkacz & Jan Zielinski lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas & Michail Pervolarakis 6-4, 5-7, [10-8]}.

Argentina bt Georgia 3-0 {Federico Delbonis bt Aleksandre Metreveli 6-1, 6-2; Diego Schwartzman bt Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-2; Maximo Gonzalez & Andres Molteni bt Saba Purtseladze & Zura Tkemaladze 6-1, 6-2}.

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