Roberto Bautista Agut helped Spain reach the ATP Cup championship match on Friday after surviving a pulsating clash against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6, 2-6, 7-6. In the other match, Russia and Canada will play each other on Saturday to book their place in the final. It is interesting to note that two years ago, Bautista Agut played an important role at No. 2 singles during his country’s run to the final, which Serbia won. Fast forward and the 33-year-old has been mightily impressive in this edition as well, winning all four of his matches at No. 1 singles, as he led the way for the two-time finalists.
“It’s a match that I will always remember. I think both of us could get the win today. He also really deserved a lot of good things. But this is our game, this is tennis,” Bautista Agut said. “Today I was the one who got the win. I think I also deserved it. I did a lot of good things on the court.”
Hurkacz did his best to keep his country’s hopes alive, as he played some mind-blowing tennis inside Ken Rosewall Arena. He saved five match points under difficult circumstances. However, Bautista Agut kept piling up the pressure, as he finally emerged victorious following a high-quality two hours and 44 minutes of tennis.
“Sometimes you get the win on the first [match] point. He played two or three lines in a row, but sometimes you stay focussed like today, you keep working and finally you lose the tie-break,” Bautista Agut said. “But today I kept working and I got the win.”
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“I played really aggressive at the end of the match. Maybe a bit more aggressive in the tie-break than on the match points, but I ended the tie-break with a good passing shot,” Bautista Agut said. “He was playing unbelievable volleys, so I’m really happy about the win of today.”
The 2021 Nitto ATP Finals competitor, Hurkacz, delivered 24 aces to just one for his opponent on the action-packed day. Earlier on Friday in the No. 2 singles, Pablo Carreno Busta gave Spain the advantage with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Jan Zielinski. It comes after Kamil Majchrzak, who went 3-0 for Poland in the group stages, was forced into isolation due to a positive Covid-19 test and was unable to compete.