By: Aaron Xiong
The 2021 ATP Season is underway after a successful first day for the ATP Cup in Melbourne, Australia. Due to COVID-19, the entire tournament is being held at Melbourne Park instead of different cities around Australia such as Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Of the 12 countries participating in the tournament, eight took the stage on day one.
In Group A, Serbia cruised to a 2-1 match lead against Canada after world number one Novak Djokovic consolidated a win in singles and another win with fellow countryman Filip Krajinovic in doubles. Serbia’s only loss of the day came to big Canadian Milos Raonic who dispatched of Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in straight sets. With a win over Canada, Serbia leads Group A with a 1-0 record and will play Germany on Wednesday.
Group B action saw Spain cap off a successful day at Melbourne Park finishing the day undefeated in match play at 3-0 against home favorite Australia. Roberto Bautista Agut pulled off a remarkable comeback in singles after dropping the first set against Alex de Minaur 4-6 and winning the next two sets at (6-4, 6-4). Pablo Carreno Busta easily defeated Australia’s John Millman in straight sets and would earn another win in doubles with compatriot Marcel Granollers to put Spain in the lead for Group B with a 1-0 record.
Italy and Austria highlight Group C action on day one with the two countries splitting singles wins with one a piece. It was the Austrians who drew blood first with Dennis Novak defeating Fabio Fognini (6-3, 6-2) in straight sets. However the Italians answered with a win by Matteo Berrettini against world number 3 Dominic Thiem (6-2, 6-4) in straight sets. The winner of the doubles match would take a 1-0 lead in Group C and the Italians showed their grit as they showcased a devastating win in straight sets against the Austrians (6-1, 6-4). They take a 1-0 lead in Group C and look to take on France on Tuesday night.
Russia proved their young and promising talent was here to stay as they left Argentina in the dust in both singles matches with Daniil Medvedev defeating Diego Schwartzman (7-5, 6-3) and Andrey Rublev blasting past Guido Pella (6-1, 6-2). Despite losing both singles matches, Argentina fire back in the doubles match taking it (6-4, 7-6(4)). However, this wasn’t enough to take a lead in Group D as Russia garnered a 1-0 lead in the group with a two matches won to Argentina’s one.
After a successful day 1, the countries look to regroup to punch back on day 2.