Argentina ease through in ATP Cup opener

Murray Wenzel |

Argentina pair Diego Schwartzman and Federico Delbonis have barely raised a sweat in securing their first-up tie against Georgia on the ATP Cup’s opening morning in Sydney.

They both won their matches 6-1 6-2 against Nikoloz Basilashvili and Aleksandre Metreveli respectively at Qudos Bank Arena, Schwartzman particularly impressive in his disposal of the world No.22.

On Ken Rosewall Arena, Spain are in the box seat after Pablo Carreno Busta fought from breaks down in both sets to defeat plucky Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

“The start of the match was very, very difficult, he was playing some good tennis,” world No.20 Carreno Busta said of his battle with the world No.139.

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

The absence of Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer for various reasons has robbed the event of some sparkle, but 14 of the world’s top 20 players are in action as they prepare for the start of the Australian Open on January 17.

Serbia, who arrived without world No.1 Novak Djokovic, open their tournament against Norway later on Saturday, while Greece play Poland in the night’s other tie.

That rubber will feature a top-10 battle between Stefanos Tsitsipas (world No.4) and Hubert Hurkacz (No.9).

Russia, headed by world No.2 Daniil Medvedev, are defending champions and will begin their tournament against France on Sunday.

Both those countries are in the same group as hosts Australia, who face the stacked Italy outfit on Sunday night.