SPAIN SWEEPS SINGLES, INTO ATP CUP FINAL


Roberto Bautista Agut has secured Spain a place in the ATP Cup final for a second time in three years after a dramatic 7-6(6), 2-6, 7-6(5) victory against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

Spain will now meet the winner of Saturday’s semi-final between Russia and Canada.

Tonight’s victory marks the second time Bautista Agut has gone undefeated on his way to the final – the first came in the inaugural event in which Serbia were crowned champions.

"It's a match that I will always remember,” the Spaniard said post-match. “I think both of us could get the win today. He also really deserved a lot of good things. But this is our game, this is tennis."

The Ken Rosewall Arena crowd came alive deep in the third set and the tension certainly went up a level as the enormity of the occasion became apparent.


World No. 9 Hurkacz was sensational for much of the match but especially late, saving five match points with high-quality shot making.

But the super consistent Bautista Agut was near-impossible to hit through, and the unrelenting Spaniard secured the tie after two hours and 44 minutes.

"Sometimes you get the win on the first [match] point. He played two or three lines in a row, but sometimes you stay focussed like today, you keep working and finally you lose the tie-break," Bautista Agut said. "But today I kept working and I got the win."


Spain will now meet the winner of Saturday’s semi-final between Russia and Canada.

Earlier, World No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta snatched the early advantage for Spain with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Poland’s Jan Zielinski in 54 minutes.

Zielinski, who had been entrusted with doubles duties up until this point, was required for No. 2 singles action after countryman Kamil Majchrzak tested positive for COVID-19.

Considering Majchrzak was yet to drop a set across his three singles matches this week, the late change dealt a major blow to the chances of Team Poland.

Majchrzak announced the news to his Instagram followers on Friday afternoon.


And so, Zielinski stepped onto the big stage of Ken Rosewall Arena with the unenviable task of facing a red-hot CarrenoBusta who, like Majchrzak, was yet to drop a set in Sydney.

Unlike his opponent, the Spaniard was no stranger to the bright lights of tennis and that certainly showed on Friday evening.

Carreno Busta applied constant pressure on the Zielinski serve – winning 10 of 11 points second serve return points and breaking twice in each set.

The World No. 20 was also resolute on serve – not affording his opponent a single break point opportunity across the match.


“When you expect to play against one player and at the last moment they change it, [it is tough],” Carreno Busta said post-match. “They were unlucky, so sorry about that.”

“I had to do my tennis, my job and I think that I played really good, [I was] very focussed on my game. It’s important to always be one up [for the tie].”

In the doubles rubber, Zielinski featured again for Poland alongside Szymon Walkow while Spain was represented by Pedro Martinez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The Spaniard’s were assisted in the first set by some quality serving that helped them to an early lead, but Poland would not go quietly.

Walkow and Zielinski entered Friday night undefeated from their three group matches and that consistency held them in good stead as they began to find their range.

The Polish duo nabbed the second set before taking control of the match tiebreak to run out 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 victors in one hour and 23 minutes.

The semi-final between Russia and Canada will commence at 1:00PM AEDST on Saturday.