Sydney, Jan 5 (IANS) Greece earned its first Group D victory on Wednesday at the ATP Cup, following wins for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Michail Pervolarakis, who recorded his first tour-level victory in Sydney.
World No. 4 Tsitsipas was leading Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-1 in the first set, but the Georgian returned to his Team Zone complaining of breathing difficulties after two points of the sixth game. “It’s not easy playing when you’re not 100 per cent, but I completely understand,” said Tsitsipas.
In a fantastic doubles match, Georgia’s Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli saved three match points for a 4-6, 6-3, 16-14 victory over Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas in one hour and 34 minutes. The Greeks held match points at 9/8, 11/10 and 13/12 in the Match Tie-break.
Greece lost to Poland 2-1 and Argentina 3-0 in its two previous Group D ties.
In the No. 2 singles match, 25-year-old Pervolarakis earned his first ATP Cup singles victory for Greece with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Aleksandre Metreveli of Georgia in 68 minutes on Qudos Bank Arena. Pervolarakis said, “It’s unbelievable. It’s my first ATP Tour singles match win.”
Pervolarakis made the most of his opportunity, breaking Metreveli for a 4-2 lead in the first set with a forehand return winner down the line. The 25-year-old recovered from 0/30 when serving for the set, which lasted 37 minutes, closing out on his fourth opportunity. Two breaks of serve – in the first and seventh games – were enough in the second set, which ended with a Metreveli backhand error.
“I ám really excited I was able to get that win for my country and for myself,” said World No. 399 Pervolarakis. “Right now I’m at (an ATP) Ranking where I’m not able to play ATP events weekly, but my goal is to just improve (over the) next year.”