January 1, 2022
(Reuters) -World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas pulled out of his ATP Cup singles match with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday due to a niggling right elbow issue before returning to partner Michail Pervolarakis in the doubles rubber.
Tsitsipas was forced to retire from the second round of the Paris Masters and lost his opening match against Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals in November before withdrawing from the season-ending tournament due to the injury.
The 23-year-old Greek, who had posted pictures of himself on a hospital bed during the off-season following surgery, sported an ice pack on his right arm in Sydney before his scheduled meeting with world number nine Hurkacz.
He was eventually replaced by Aristotelis Thanos, who was beaten 6-1 6-2 by Hurkacz as Poland grabbed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie. Kamil Majchrzak had earlier beaten Pervolarakis 6-1 6-4.
Tsitsipas had earlier played down concerns that the injury would derail his campaign at the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 17 saying his withdrawal was a “precautionary step” to ensure he remains fit for the Grand Slam.
“We will see day by day, match by match until then,” Tsitsipas said, before turning up for the doubles match against Hurkacz and Jan Zielinski.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru: Editing by Neil Fullick and Pritha Sarkar)