Five Things That Matter On ATP Cup Day 3
The ATP Cup will heat up on Day 3 with Serbia, Spain, Argentina and Poland seeking their second group wins in Sydney. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz, Diego Schwartzman and Roberto Bautista Agut are the leading singles players in action on Ken Rosewall Arena or Qudos Bank Arena.
Here are the five things that matter most ahead of Day 3 at the ATP Cup.
Tsitsipas vs. Schwartzman
Argentina will attempt to replicate the form that helped the team to a 3-0 win over Georgia on Sunday. While World No. 44 Federico Delbonis begins the night-session Group D tie against Michail Pervolarakis of Greece, all eyes will be on scheduled No. 1 match between Tsitsipas and Schwartzman in their first meeting for almost four years.
The questions is: Will Tsitsipas’ right elbow, which he has struggled with since November, hold up? The World No. 4 did not play Pole Hurkacz two days ago, but joined Pervolarakis to win the doubles match. Schwartzman got the better of Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-5 in the 2017 Antwerp semi-finals, but lost 6-2, 6-1 in Barcelona in April 2018.
Two years ago, Serbia ran out 2-1 victors over Chile. Four players — Dusan Lajovic and Nikola Cacic of Serbia and Chile’s Cristian Garin and Alejandro Tabilo — were part of that tie in Brisbane, and feature in their teams this year. Incredibly, eight years ago, Garin became the fifth player aged 16 or under since 2000, to win an ATP Tour match when he beat Lajovic in the Vina del Mar first round. A few months later, he went on to capture the Roland Garros junior title.
On Day 3 in Sydney, the players meet again. Filip Krajinovic, who won two matches for Serbia to ensure a 2-1 victory over Norway on Sunday, will begin the Group A tie against Tabilo on Qudos Bank Arena.
Metreveli’s Journey Back
Aleksandre Metreveli, the grandson of 1973 Wimbledon finalist Alex Metreveli, who represented Georgia at the 2020 ATP Cup in Brisbane, has much to be thankful for when he plays World No. 9 Hurkacz of Poland in Group D on Ken Rosewall Arena. Five years ago, Metreveli broke both of his legs in a car accident, and was told he wouldn’t be able to run – let alone play tennis.
Speaking to ATPTour.com, Metreveli revealed, “I was laying in a bed, on my back, in my parents house in one position for four-and-a-half months. I then went to Turkey and had four more surgeries. I started to walk on crutches for four months and then rehabilitation, running, jogging and stretching. I played for 15 minutes around 14 months after the accident, not running, but standing and hitting, and I was super happy that day. I still remember that day, with my family. It was a big day for us, We hit for 20-25 minutes with my coach, then I wanted to play more.”
Will Norway Shock Spain?
Two years ago, on 3 January, Norway sent shockwaves through the ATP Cup in Brisbane with victory over the United States on Day 1. Ruud proved to be the inspiration, with a 6-7(3), 7-6(10), 7-5 win over John Isner before joining forces with Viktor Durasovic in the deciding doubles match. Ruud, of course, is No. 8 in the ATP Rankings after a career-best 2021 season of 57 match wins and five ATP Tour titles.
Can Ruud and Durasovic combine to beat Spain? Durasovic will open the Group A tie against Pablo Carreno Busta on Qudos Bank Arena, before World No. 19 Bautista Agut — with an 8-2 singles record at ATP Cup — comes up against Ruud, who he beat 6-4, 6-3 in the 2018 Munich second round. Bautista Agut, one of the ATP Tour’s most versatile performers, has won 15 matches against Top 10 opponents.
Players Make Most Of Team Zone
At each changeover, there’s already plenty of strategy, tactical discussions and banter in the ATP Cup Team Zone. Daniel Evans admitted, after his victory over Jan-Lennard Struff on Sunday, that Team Great Britain had been joking how captain Liam Broady had barely said a word. Greek captain Apostolos Tsitsipas checked the Team Zone tablet to highlight different plays with Pervolarakis and Aristotelis Thanos against Poland, while Taylor Fritz was in constant dialogue with United States captain Michael Russell in his hard-fought victory over Felix-Auger-Aliassime of Canada.
Russell told ATPTour.com, “It’s a unique experience, but I’ve enjoyed it. I think it’s great. I’d love to see it in more events, where there is more on-court coaching or on-court involvement between the player and coach or team member.”
SCHEDULE - MONDAY, 3 JANUARY 2022
KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 10:00 am
Group D - Poland v Georgia, Day Session
K. Majchrzak (POL) vs A. Bakshi (GEO)
H. Hurkacz (POL) vs A. Metreveli (GEO)
Subject to change - S. Walkow (POL) / J. Zielinski (POL) vs A. Bakshi (GEO) / A. Metreveli (GEO)
Start 5:30 pm
Group D - Greece v Argentina, Night Session
M. Pervolarakis (GRE) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)
Not Before 7:00 pm
S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)
Subject to change - M. Pervolarakis (GRE) / S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs M. Gonzalez (ARG) / A. Molteni (ARG)
QUDOS BANK ARENA start 10:00 am
Group A - Norway v Spain, Day Session
V. Durasovic (NOR) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP)
C. Ruud (NOR) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
Subject to change - V. Durasovic (NOR) / C. Ruud (NOR) vs A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP) / P. Martinez (ESP)
Start 5:30 pm
Group A - Serbia v Chile, Night Session
F. Krajinovic (SRB) vs A. Tabilo (CHI)
Not Before 7:00 pm
D. Lajovic (SRB) vs C. Garin (CHI)
Subject to change - N. Cacic (SRB) / M. Sabanov (SRB) vs T. Barrios Vera (CHI) / A. Tabilo (CHI)