Day one of the ATP Cup turned out to be quite eventful with three big stories.
Novak Djokovic paced Serbia’s win over Canada beating Denis Shapovalov in singles 7-5, 7-5 then teaming Filip Krajinovic to beat Shapovalov and Raonic.
“We don’t get to see crowds in the tennis stadiums these days so much, so it’s definitely a blessing. I’m really grateful to see you guys here in the stands,” Djokovic said.
“It was a very close match. Playing Shapo is always a great challenge on hard courts. He’s such a dynamic, explosive player; very talented. I thought we played on a very high level, so I’m really pleased with how I’ve started the season. This is the best way to kickstart the season, playing for your country.”
Djokovic is now 10-0 at the event after leading Serbia to the title last year.
Rafael Nadal surprise withdrawal didn’t hurt Spain’s chances as they swept home Australia 3-0 as Pablo Carreno Busta starred going 2-0.
Nadal pulled out of his match against Alex De Minaur due to a back problem. He hopes to good for Thursday.
He tweeted, “Hi all, we have decided with #TeamSpain and my team, to not play today the first match of the @ATPCup here in #Melbourne since I have a stiff low back. Hopefully I’ll be better for Thursday. We have a strong team, all the to @pablocarreno91 @BautistaAgut & @M_Granollers #vamos 🇪🇸”
Reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem had a tough start to 2021 going 0-2 in Austria’s 2-1 loss to Italy. Matteo Berrettini beat Thiem 6-2, 6-4 and then also in doubles.