Sydney [Australia], January 7 (ANI): Roberto Bautista Agut clinched Spain’s place in the ATP Cup championship match on Friday evening with a thrilling 7-6(6), 2-6, 7-6(5) victory against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz. Russia and Canada will meet on Saturday to earn the other spot in the final.
Bautista Agut has been flawless in the 2022 ATP Cup, winning all four of his matches at No. 1 singles to lead the way for the two-time finalists.
Hurkacz was desperate to keep his country’s hopes alive and he played tremendous tennis inside Ken Rosewall Arena, saving five match points with gutsy shotmaking. But Bautista Agut was relentless, eventually emerging victorious after a high-quality two hours and 44 minutes.
The Sydney crowd roared in support of Hurkacz when he hit a terrific low backhand volley to save the first match point he faced and there was another eruption after Bautista Agut missed a difficult forehand passing shot into the net on his second opportunity.
Another missed chance for Bautista Agut two games later added to the tension in the air. Hurkacz continued to fight until the end, saving two more match points in the tie-break. But the Spaniard finally brought the thriller to an end with a curling crosscourt forehand passing shot, which ‘Hubi’ volleyed into the net.
Hurkacz, a 2021 ATP Finals competitor, delivered 24 aces to just one for his opponent. He also showed great courage in rushing the net under pressure. But Bautista Agut was a wall on the biggest points. His elation showed after clinching the victory, with a look of great relief on his face.
Earlier in the No. 2 singles, Pablo Carreno Busta gave his country the advantage with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Jan Zielinski. Kamil Majchrzak went 3-0 for Poland in the group stages, but was forced into isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test. (ANI)