Spain, Poland in early ATP Cup wins

Murray Wenzel |

Norwegian stand-out Casper Ruud will need to beat Roberto Bautista Agut to stop another Spain ATP Cup clean sweep, while a weakened Georgia are staring down another heavy loss in Sydney.

Spanish No.2 Pablo Carreno Busta, ranked one spot lower than his countryman at 20 in the world, opened Monday’s account with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Norway’s world No.345 Viktor Durasovic.

On Ken Rosewall Arena, world No.9 Hubert Hurkacz will play rank outsider Aleksandre Metreveli to seal the tie for Poland after Georgia’s world No.22 Nikoloz Basilashvili was a late scratching.

His absence has left Georgia short of firepower, with world No.974 Aleksandre Bakshi no match for Kamil Majchrzak in a 6-1 6-1 morning loss.

Poland and Spain, without star man Rafael Nadal, won their first-round Cup clashes easily against Greece and Chile on Saturday’s opening day.

Greece’s world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas is scheduled to play his first singles match of the year later on Monday night against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

Tsitsipas pulled out of his top-10 battle with Hurkacz on Saturday, the Greek favourite wary after having surgery on his elbow in November.

Serbia and Chile meet in the other tie on Monday night.