ATP Cup 2020: Spain breeze past Japan to advance to quarter-finals, Rafael Nadal-led team to face Belgium
Australia play Britain while Argentina take on Russia in the quarters of ATP Cup on Thursday. On Friday, Serbia play Canada and Belgium take on Spain.
Japan needed to beat Spain 3-0 in order for the Nadal-led team not to advance to the Final Eight in Sydney beginning Thursday.
Previously winless Poland's surprise victory over Austria in their group game eliminated fourth-ranked Dominic Thiem's team.
Argentina won Group E, Belgium were the first runner-up and Canada the second runner-up.
Perth: Spain advanced to the quarter-finals of the ATP Cup even before Rafael Nadal stepped on to the court on Wednesday at the Perth Arena.
Spain, which won the Davis Cup in Madrid with a victory over Canada, stayed in the hunt for its second international team victory in seven weeks when Roberto Bautista Agut beat Go Soeda of Japan 6-2, 6-4.
Japan needed to beat Spain 3-0 in order for the Nadal-led team not to advance to the Final Eight in Sydney beginning Thursday. Nadal later had a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over 72nd-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka.
"I always enjoy sharing important moments with friends, and we had a lot of success during our entire careers playing for our country in Davis Cup," Nadal said. “So for us it's a good start, to be able to be qualified for Sydney already. The conditions will be different, and a three-hour time (difference). There's a lot of things we need to adjust to, and the period of time to make it happen is very short."
Previously winless Poland's surprise victory over Austria eliminated fourth-ranked Dominic Thiem's team. Hubert Hurkacz's 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Thiem eliminated Austria after Kacper Zuk beat Dennis Novak 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the opening match in Sydney.
In other matches on the final day of group play, already-qualified Serbia beat Chile in Group A. Dusan Lajovic beat Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 7-6 (3) before Novak Djokovic defeated Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-3.
The remaining quarter-finalists were decided later Wednesday: Argentina won Group E, Belgium were the first runner-up and Canada the second runner-up.
The quarter-final line-up has Australia playing Britain and Argentina taking on Russia on Thursday. On Friday, Serbia play Canada and Belgium take on Spain, all at Ken Rosewall Arena at Sydney Olympic Park.
The semi-finals are set for Saturday and the final on Sunday.
Djokovic was among several players to test positive after last year's event, which was held in front of thousands of fans with no social distancing.
Rublev clinched his first win against third-seeded Nadal on his first match point with a typically powerful winner on forehand — a weapon Nadal struggled to contain all match.
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Nadal was not considered a close contact of Medvedev, and therefore not required to quarantine, allowing him to pursue a 12th Monte Carlo title.