Bautista leaves and Chile approaches Spain to the semifinals

Tennis - ATP Cup - Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia - January 3, 2022 Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut celebrates winning his group stage match against Norway's Casper Ruud REUTERS / Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Roberto Bautista gave a new exhibition in Sydney to beat world number eight, Casper Ruud, and ensure the victory of Spain against Norway (2-0 at the moment) in the second round of Group A of the ATP Cup. The Spaniard, who had already embroidered it on New Year’s Eve against Chilean Christian Garín (17th), raised a splendid match to win 6-4 and 7-6 (4) in 1h45 and make good the previous triumph of Pablo Carreño against Viktor Durasovic (double 6-3 in 68 minutes). Alejandro Davidovich and Pedro Martínez put the icing on the cake in the doubles point (3-0) against two unknown 21-year-olds who add four ATP goals between the two, Lukas Hellun-Lilleeengen and Andreja Petrovic (6-4 and 6-1 in 1h04). After this success, Spain is very close to the semifinals, which will be practically assured after Chile defeated Serbia against all odds. Even so the pass to the crosses will have to certify it with another victory against the Balkan team on Wednesday (7:30, #Vamos). Norway is already eliminated.

Bautista punished two aspects of Ruud’s game in which the Rafa Nadal Academy disciple lacks: the backhand and the second serves. Rober did it with insistence and success and his rival did not know how to counteract that tactic. In the first round, Casper credited a low percentage of success with first serves (53%) and that is why he missed the options of hurting the Spanish titan, who only lost six goals in his turns. In the second sleeve the duel leveled off a lot because both served much better. Bautista’s merit was not giving up a single break option and committing 20 fewer errors than Ruud (36-16). In the tiebreaker, he played like the angels. It was the finishing touch to an exciting performance.

Carreño improves and convinces

Carreño also played an impeccable game, especially on serve. He did not give up a bit of break throughout the game and knew how to take advantage of the chances he had to break Durasovic’s three times. Pablo lost eight points with his serves, three with first (91%) and five with second (55%). He hit seven aces for a total of 17 winners and made nine unforced errors. A practically perfect performance.

In the first set, he was ahead early, in the fourth game and was even able to close it before, but from 4-1, his rival improved, ensured his turns and started with a firm hand in the second sleeve. Until Carreño found the necessary fissures to bring down a tennis player with little ATP experience (7-15 now) and quite a few shortcomings beyond crediting a decent hitting with the drive. Little history had the duel in these circumstances.

Chile lends a hand to Spain

On the second day of the ATP Cup, Serbia already misses Novak Djokovic. The Balkan team fell in a surprising way against Chile 2-1 and their chances of going to the semifinals, which will be played on Wednesday morning against Spain, are seriously complicated.

The tie started well for the Serbian team as Filip Krajinovic achieved the first point against Alejandro Tabilo in a demanding match that was decided in the tie-break of the third and final set by 6-4, 3-6 and 7-6 (5) in favor of the Serbian.

However, Chile managed to balance the tie thanks to its number one Cristian Garín, who managed to overcome Dusan Lajovic. Despite losing the first set 4-6, Garín did not give up and won the second set 6-4. When Garín won 3-0 in the third set, Lajovic said enough and the tie would be decided in doubles.

In the decisive doubles match, the pair formed by Tomás Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo put the ground in between after winning the first set 6-4. However, the Serbian pairing of Nikola Cacic and Matej Sabanov did not give up and managed to win the second set 3-6 to force the third set. In the final super tie-break, Barrios Vera and Tabilo were more solid to take the sleeve 10-7 and consummate the surprising victory of Chile against Spain that leaves the presence of the Spanish team in the semifinals almost guaranteed.

ATP Cup results.

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