© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Hubert Hurkacz was tested early but finished strong to clinch Poland's tie against Georgia.

Hurkacz Puts Team In Pole Position In Group D

Poles clinch second tie of tournament

Poland’s Hubart Hurkacz avoided a potential colossal upset on Day 3 of ATP Cup in Sydney to lead his team to its second victory of the tournament.

Learning the night before that he would be playing World No. 571 Aleksandre Metreveli of Georgia instead of No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili, Hurkacz had to re-set his game plan and it took time for him to settle. Last year’s Miami Open champion dropped the first set to Metreveli before steadying to win 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1.

“He played well in the first set and things were not going my way. But I got better with each set and am happy to get the win,” Hurkacz said.

“It was different conditions from the first match on Qudos Bank Arena. The ball bounced a little higher and faster, so I needed to adapt. But it helped to have the Polish crowd here supporting us. They were great.”

Poland can book a place in the semi-finals if it defeats Argentina on Wednesday.

Despite dropping the first set, Hurkacz was dominant on serve. He fired 16 aces, won 80 per cent of first-serve points, 69 per cent of second-serve points and he didn’t face a break point.

Earlier in the day, Kamil Majchrzak gave Poland a strong start when he dropped just two games against Aleksandre Bakshi on Ken Rosewall Arena. World No. 117 Majchrzak had too much game for World No. 974 Bakshi, winning 6-1, 6-1 in just 53 minutes.

"I was trying to move [Bakshi] around and I think that was the key to the match," said Majchrzak, who is coached by former World No. 7 Swede Joakim Nystrom.

"He brings me a lot of confidence and a lot of calm in my tennis so I can feel that I am improving,” Majchrzak said. "We are working on [developing an all-court game] but in a way that doesn't interrupt my baseline game. We will take it from the practice to the matches but it takes time."

Poland completed a 3-0 sweep of the tie when Szymon Walkow and Jan Zielinski defeated Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli 6-7(2), 6-2, 10-6

ATP Cup format sees the No. 2 singles played first, followed by the No. 1 singles and the doubles. Doubles uses no-ad scoring and a match tie-break in place of a third set.

Each country plays three matches in group play from 1-6 January across Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park. One team emerges from each of the four groups to contest the two semi-finals, which will be split over two days (7-8 January), with the final played 9 January.

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