Elbow injury hits Tsitsipas as crowds desert ATP Cup opening day

Spain won the doubles, giving the 2020 ATP Cup finalists a perfect start before a tougher test against Norway – with world number 8 Casper Ruud as the seed – on Monday.

“It was a good start to the season,” said Bautista Agut. “It’s always important to feel good at the start. It’s not easy to adapt to these different conditions, in the summer, in tennis here in January in Australia.

Argentina started their campaign in the same way as Spain.

Each of the three matches against Georgia was won 6-1, 6-2 by Diego Schwartzman, Federico Delbonis and the Argentine doubles pair.

Schwartzman’s toughest task of the tournament – taking on Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas – was on mind after the game.

“The last two times I played on day one I didn’t win, so for me to start with a win gives me a lot of confidence for the next game,” he said.

“I have Tsitsipas in the next game, so obviously to start with a victory is very good. The important thing right now is [warm] get ready for the grand slam, play as a team and share the moments of this competition together. For us to always play for the flags, it’s very pleasant.

Matches were played in front of empty stands at Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena.

No official crowd figures were announced by Tennis Australia for the one-day session, but there were barely 500 people in attendance at the Ken Rosewall Arena during Spain’s matches.

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A combination of a late schedule announcement, New Years Day, and COVID-19 contributed to the poverty of the crowds.

The ATP Cup’s first week of action spanned Sydney, Brisbane and Perth before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, and crowds were strong throughout the two weeks of action.

This year, due to COVID-19 constraints and state borders, the tournament will take place in Sydney in its entirety. This decision appears to have backfired if the Day 1 crowds are any guide.

Australia will begin their campaign on Sunday evening, a day that will also feature top stars Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini.

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Watch the ATP Cup live on Channel 9, 9Gem and 9NOW, featuring Serbia vs. Norway and Greece vs. Poland from 6:50 p.m. on Saturday, Russia vs. France and Canada vs. USA from from 10 a.m. on Sunday, Germany against Great Britain and Italy against Australia from 6:50 p.m. on Sunday.