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ATP Cup 2020: Spain get past home favourites Australia to set up blockbuster final against Serbia

ANALYST
News
Published Jan 11, 2020
Jan 11, 2020 IST

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

After Serbia's victory over Russia, Spain took on home favorites Australia in the second semifinal of the ATP Cup. Spain and Australia had both scraped through their quarterfinals matches, so it was unclear who was the favorite going into the tie.

However, it wasn't long before Spain's superiority was proven across the board. They beat Australia in all three matches of the tie, and will now have a lot of confidence going into the blockbuster final against Serbia tomorrow.

Spain have been the most dominant tennis team over the last decade or so. While Rafael Nadal has won a bunch of Grand Slams during this period, the country has consistently had the most players in the top 20 when compared to other nations in the last 10 years.

Currently Spain have two players in the top 10, with Nadal and Roberto Bautista-Agut both featuring.

The tie began with Bautista-Agut and Nick Kyrgios facing off in the first singles match. Kyrgios was the star player in Australia's tie against Great Britain and was arguably the favorite going into the match.

2020 ATP Cup - Sydney: Day 9
2020 ATP Cup - Sydney: Day 9

However, as has been so typical of Kyrgios over the last year, his erratic form came into play and he was conclusively beaten by Bautista-Agut in straight sets, 6-1 6-4. Instead of seeing the supremely gifted Kyrgios that was on show in the quarterfinals, the fans saw the petulant one, with the Australian smashing his racquet to pieces after making a mistake.

Bautista-Agut's victory meant that Spain were 1-0 going into Nadal's singles fixture against Alex de Minaur. Although Nadal won the match and subsequently the tie for Spain, he looked vulnerable and there was a point in the second set where it appeared that De Minaur could've snatched the win.

Nadal's experience came into play just in the nick of time and he managed to outlast De Minaur to win the match.

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2020 ATP Cup - Sydney: Day 9
2020 ATP Cup - Sydney: Day 9

As was the case with Serbia's semi-final against Russia, the doubles match was meaningless to the result of the tie as Spain had already won. But that did not mean Spain would take it lightly, and they won the last match too by the scoreline 6-2 6-7(6) 10-4.

Spain will now face Serbia in the final tomorrow, in a tie that promises to be as exciting as it will be intense. The marquee clash of the tie will see the World No. 1 Nadal taking on World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, and it is anyone's guess who will come out on top.

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