Australia’s ATP Cup campaign is off to a losing start after some injury drama forced a late change to the singles line-up.
James Duckworth had to withdraw from the opening match against Italian world number 10 Jannik Sinner just hours before play was set to begin.
Max Purcell battled hard but was outclassed by the man ranked 166 spots higher than him and ultimately lost 6-1,6-3 in just over an hour on Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.
“For my first match of the year it [could not have gone] any better,” the 20-year-old Sinner said.
Australia’s number one, Alex de Minaur, plays top-ranked Italian Matteo Berrettini next.
The Aussie doubles team of John Peers and Luke Saville are set to take on Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.