If you are a low-ranked pro player struggling to find your form, rock-solid Roberto Bautista Agut is not your desired opponent. On Saturday night at the inaugural ATP Cup, the Spaniard showed no mercy to Georgia’s Aleksandre Metreveli, serving the world No. 679 the rare double bagel.
“It was a great match and a great start to the tournament,” said Bautista Agut. “I did not have information about him, but I did ask some players who knew him before and had some ideas. I did not see him play. I focused on my game and I knew it was important to start with a break.
"I wanted to get the advantage. It was good to make the break in the second game. Every match counts and I was to playing full on until the very end.”
Later, Rafael Nadal backed up his teammate's win by posting a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili, giving Spain an unassailable 2-0 lead. Nadal, who had never lost to Basilashvili, had dropped just two games in two of his three previous matches against the world No. 26.
Though Nadal was never in danger of losing, Basilashvili pushed the world No. 1 at times with crushing, flat groundstrokes. But as he almost always does, Nadal proved far too consistent for his error-prone opponent.
“I had the match under control, 5-2 against a good player like Nikoloz," said Nadal. "It has been a positive start. Obviously, he played some good games. I made a couple of mistakes, then the match became more difficult. That is it.”
In the doubles rubber, Pablo Carreno Busta and Nadal's replacement Feliciano Lopez took out Aleksandre Bakshi and George Tsivadze, 6-3, 6-4, to give Spain a 3-0 win.
Spain will next face off against Team Uruguay—comprised primarily of brothers Pablo and MartÌn Cuevas. Spain will enter the match-up as the overwhelming favorite.
Earlier today Team Japan dismantled Uruguay 3-0 without dropping a set.