Nadal impeccable while Djokovic faces brutal conditions in the ATP Cup

Sydney, January 6 (AFP) An ominous Rafael Nadal was in cruise control for Spain in the ATP Cup on Monday, but Serbian Novak Djokovic was forced to sweat through brutal conditions for his second consecutive victory.

The Spanish world number one surpassed the experienced Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-2, 6-1 in just 73 minutes in Perth to ensure that his country won its second consecutive draw in the inaugural 24-team event and approached the quarterfinals. final.

He arrived on the court after his teammate and world number 10, Roberto Bautista Agut, did a short job of Franco Roncadelli 6-1, 6-2.

A great match I played better than the other day. It was a very positive victory against an opponent for whom I have a lot of respect, said the winner of the Grand Slam on 19 occasions, Nadal. I'm super happy.

Djokovic received a trial training in his opening clash in Brisbane on Saturday by the great South African Kevin Anderson, who took him to two playoffs.

He returned to his best dominant position against Frenchman Gael Monfils, but the exhausting heat and humidity made the 6-3, 6-2 victory more difficult than the score suggested.

It was definitely one of the wettest conditions I've had in my career. Tonight was brutal, said world number two, which extended its record on Monfils to 16-0, dating back 15 years.

Obviously playing Gael, you know that you will have many exchanges, many manifestations. He is a great fighter and a great friend of mine. Good luck today.

- Really focused -

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Eight of the 24 nations will reach the quarterfinals in Sydney from the round robin: six group winners and two best finalists.

Other winners on Monday included Japan, Croatia, South Africa and Austria. The world's number four, Dominic Thiem, recovered from a surprising loss in his first game to beat the tenacious Diego Schwartzman in two difficult sets to lead Austria to victory over Argentina in Sydney.

Previously, Dennis Novak showed fighting qualities to annoy world number 25 Guido Pella after losing the first set 6-0.

He kept Austria alive in Group E after they lost their first bond with Croatia.

The undefeated Croatians are sitting pretty, headed by the former US Open champion. UU. Marin Cilic, who beat Poland's Kacper Zuk in straight sets, his second consecutive victory.

I felt that the level was quite good. He was being aggressive, said Cilic, losing finalist of the Australian Open in 2018. He had to stay mentally in the game, really focused.

One of the biggest surprises has been Japan, which has won its two ties, against Uruguay and Georgia, despite being without injured stars Kei Nishikori and Yasutaka Uchiyama, their third best player.

Yoshihito Nishioka has taken a step forward, beating world number 26 Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets in Perth after hitting world number 45 Pablo Cuevas on Saturday.

I think I played my best tennis and I am very happy about this, he said about his victory against the Georgian, where his precise precision shook Basilashvili. South Africa, led by Anderson, remains in dispute after a clean sweep of Chile 3-0 in Brisbane.

The former world number five Anderson secured the draw by beating Cristian Garin 6-0, 6-3 after Lloyd Harris's comfortable victory over Nicolas Jarry.

Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse made it white when they fought against Garin and Jarry in doubles 1-6, 6-3, 10-7.

I think it has been promising. The things I'm doing, the things we're working to see, said Anderson, who missed the second half of last year after suffering a knee injury in Wimbledon. We have made some changes with some things and so far everything is fine. (AFP) AT AT

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