Rafael Nadal Powers Spain Into ATP Cup Quarter-Finals

Rafael Nadal Powers Spain Into ATP Cup Quarter-Finals
0 comments, 09/01/2020, by , in News, Tennis

Rafael Nadal came back twice from a break down against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka to put Spain into the ATP Cup quarter-finals in Australia.

The world number one won 7-6 (7-4) 6-4) to give Spain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie after Robert Bautista Agut had earlier beaten Go Soeda 6-2 6-4.

Nadal then paired up with Pablo Carreno Busta to win the doubles rubber and end Japan’s chances of a last-eight spot.

Argentina later beat Croatia to advance to the knockout stage.

Canada and Belgium sealed the two remaining quarter-final spots as the best runners-up.

The knockout stage, taking place in Sydney, begins on Thursday with Great Britain facing hosts Australia (from 23:00 GMT on Wednesday).

The ATP Cup is a new 24-nation knockout tournament that has been set up by the men’s professional tour to kick off the 2020 season.

Quarter-final line-up completed

In a winner-takes-all tie between Argentina and Croatia in Sydney, Guido Pella beat 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 before Diego Schwartzman swept aside Borna Coric 6-2 6-2 to put the South Americans through to the quarter-finals.

Belgium – who were runners-up to Great Britain in Group C – clinched a place as one of the best second-placed teams, while Canada took the final spot for the knockouts.

Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, who had already qualified for the Sydney knockout stage, finished their round-robin campaign with a 2-1 win over Chile in Brisbane.

“Sydney’s got a big Serbian community, hopefully the support can be as good as it was here, even better,” said 16-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic, who beat Cristian Garin 6-3 6-3 to make it three singles victories and one doubles win so far.

France and Croatia had chances to go through but failed to take them.

France needed to beat South Africa 3-0 but lost 2-1 despite captain Gilles Simon stepping in as a late replacement for the injured Gael Monfils to beat Lloyd Harris in the opening match.

Benoit Paire failed to serve out the match twice against Kevin Anderson and had a match point saved in a 2-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-5) loss.

Croatia meanwhile, would have gone through if they had beaten already-qualified Argentina in the doubles, but Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic lost to Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni on a deciding tie-break.

In the tie between already eliminated Georgia and Uruguay in Group B, a fuming Pablo Cuevas packed his bag and walked off court after getting a warning from the umpire – before his opponent Nikoloz Basilashvili went after him and persuaded him to resume the match.

How the ATP Cup quarter-finals shape up

Great Britain v Australia         Thurs, 9 Jan – 10am local time (Wed, 8 Jan – 23:00 GMT)

Argentina v Russia        Thurs, 9 Jan – 5:30pm local time (06:30 GMT)

Serbia v Canada   Fri, 10 Jan – 10am local time (Thurs, 9 Jan – 23:00 GMT)

Belgium v Spain   Fri, 10 Jan – 5:30pm local time (06:30 GMT)

BBC Sourced

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