POLAND has caused an upset over Argentina to book its semi-finals spot against Spain after a stunning clean sweep on day five of the ATP Cup. At Qudos Bank Arena, the Polish got through with a 3-0 whitewash of the Argentinians in a result that very few saw coming. They will now take on Spain who accounted for Serbia in the semi-finals, with the last of the ATP Cup group matches today.
Poland (3) defeated Argentina (0)
Coming into the contest, Argentina was tipped to take out Poland and cruise through to the semi-finals, after not dropping a match throughout the tournament. Though Poland had won its first two matches, a Stefanos Tsitsipas late withdrawal from the opening day singles largely helped with that, and Hubert Hurkacz‘s form has wavered compared to that of his teammate Kamil Majchrzak.
Unlike Hurkacz, Majchrzak has looked strong throughout, and ranked 117th in the world, he took down the Top 50 ranked Federico Delbonis in straight sets. Though it was far from easy – needing a second set tiebreaker to get it done – Majchrzak won 6-3 7-6. He produced five aces to four and won 68 and 70 per cent of his first and second serve points compared to Delbonis’ 58 and 35 per cent. He could have taken more break point opportunities – just four of 16 – but held firm for a crucial victory.
Meanwhile the in-form Diego Schwartzman was heavily fancied in his clash against the solid-without-spectacular form of Hurkacz. But the Polish server got his act together when it counted, not giving Schwartzman the chance to get on top, running out a 6-1 6-4 winner to seal the tie. Hurkacz served 12 aces to one, and broke three times, whilst saving all three break points against him. In the end, his first serve percentage (83 per cent) was far greater than the diminutive Argentinian’s (56 per cent) and he led Poland into the semi-finals.
Though the tie was wrapped up, the Polish doubles pair still wanted to play the final match to maintain match practice heading into the semis. Szymon Walkow and Jan Zielinski could not have asked for a much better match, closing out the contest against Andres Molteni and Maximo Gonzalez in two tiebreakers. The Polish duo won 7-4 in the first set tiebreaker and 7-5 in the second set tiebreaker, for a nail-biting 7-6 7-6 victory.
IN OTHER RESULTS …
Poland will now take on Spain in the semi-finals after the European nation closed out its group stage with an important win over Serbia. Roberto Bautista Agut got the chocolates against Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-4, which followed on from an earlier straight sets win to Pablo Carreno Busta. In that first singles match, Carreno Busta defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-4, sealing the deal for the Spanish side to advance through to the semi-finals to take on Poland. It was not all bad news for Serbia though, as Matej Sabanov and Nikola Cacic grabbed the dead-rubber tie in the doubles, defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Pedro Martinez, 6-7 6-3 10-5.
Meanwhile Chile finished second in Group A behind Spain, following a 2-1 win over the winless Norway. Alejandro Tabilo has fought hard in the ATP Cup and grabbed a crucial win over Viktor Durasovic 6-1 6-7 6-1, then teamed up in the doubles with Tomas Barrios Vera to close out the match and grab the win. They defeated Andreja Petrovic and Leyton Rivera, 6-0 6-4 in a dominant performance. Casper Ruud continued his strong form of the last 12 months to knock off Cristian Garin 6-4 6-1.
In the final game of the ATP Cup, Georgia finally won its first match of the tournament, though it came a little too late. Greece had already closed out the dead rubber tie in the singles before Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli made history with an epic 4-6 6-3 16-14 win over Michail Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas. Earlier in the day, Pervolarakis took care of Metreveli in straight sets 6-3 6-2, and Tsitsipas won in a walkover against Nikoloz Basilashvili when he was leading 4-1 in the first set, to ensure Greece took home a tie win.