A wounded Stefanos Tsitsipas gave conflicting messages over his Australian Open participation after a painful loss for the world number 4 sent Greece packing from the ATP Cup in Sydney.
- Greece were knocked out of the ATP Cup on Monday night after consecutive losses
- Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut defeated world number 8 Casper Ruud of Norway
- Poland, Argentina, and Chile also claimed big wins and will now play off for a semi-final spot
Tsitsipas battled valiantly for almost three hours before succumbing to the dogged and diminutive world number 13 Diego Schwartzman, who gave Argentina an unbeatable 2-0 lead in Monday night's tie after defeating the Greek star 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-3.
Greece's defeat followed a 2-1 loss to Poland on Saturday, when Tsitsipas withdrew from the singles before contesting the decisive doubles.
The Greek star is returning to the court after undergoing elbow surgery in November.
"I don't know what my future plans are for this tournament. I'm not really sure," he said when asked about his Australian Open hopes immediately after Monday night's match.
"I'd love to play, but I really don't know how I'm going to feel tomorrow.
"That was one of the biggest concerns — if I'm going to play this match today — how is the recovery going to be tomorrow, which was the issue with the doubles.
"If I finished the doubles, next day I couldn't serve. I was unable. I was in a lot of pain.
"So I'm really hoping to be able to walk on court tomorrow and practice some serves without pain. That's my biggest goal right now, to have 100 per cent recovery on my elbow.
"I have done lots of things in the last couple of weeks to try and protect it as much as I can and get it to 100 per cent again.
"So focus on my health and well-being more than any other thing right now."
However, Tsitsipas subsequently told the official tournament website: "It was good to see myself perform at such a level. I didn't expect it.
"It worked out better than I thought. I was able to hit balls that I was scared to hit two weeks ago, so I'm heading towards the right direction.
"It gets better and better every single day almost. We have plenty of time before the Australian Open begins, and I think if I take the right precautions and follow what my doctor says, then I can see myself performing at 100 per cent at the Australian Open."
Elsewhere at the ATP Cup, Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut also took a leading scalp, continuing his impressive start to the year beating world number 8 Casper Ruud to seal Spain's tie against Norway.
There were further group stage victories on Monday for Poland over Georgia, and Chile against Serbia.
Fellow top 10 talents Matteo Berrettini (number 7) and Daniil Medvedev (number 2) have also been upset at the $10 million teams tournament, where ATP points are up for grabs.
Poland and Argentina will play for a spot in the semi-finals when they meet in their final group game on Wednesday.
While Argentina, Spain and Poland also won their doubles matches to seal 3-0 whitewashes, Chile dropped a match in defeating Serbia. The South American side will now face a winless Norway on Wednesday, while Serbia take on group leaders Spain.
The four group winners in the 16-team tournament advance to the semi-finals on Friday and Saturday, with the winners meeting in the final on Sunday.