ATP Cup: Nadal, Djokovic headline depleted 12-nation tournament
World number one men's tennis player Novak Djokovic and second-ranked Rafael Nadal will headline a depleted field at the coronavirus-hit ATP Cup, organizers said. The tournament has been cut in half to 12 teams this time around. Notably, the inaugural ATP Cup featured 24 nations split into six groups ahead of a final series in 2020 across three cities in Australia. Here's more.
The inaugural tournament was held in Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney. The teams faced each other in ties composed of two singles matches and one doubles match. The winner from each group was joined by the two best second places in the quarter-finals of the tournament for three knock-out rounds until the champion team was crowned. Serbia overcame Spain 2-1 in the tournament.
Earlier, the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the Australian Open by three weeks to February 8. Players will now arrive in Australia from January 15 and undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine before the ATP Cup is held alongside two WTA 500 and two ATP 250 events. All these tournaments will be held in Melbourne in the week leading into the Grand Slam
Teams that have qualified for the ATP Cup based on men's singles rankings are Serbia, Spain, Austria, Russia, Greece, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Japan, France, Canada, and hosts Australia. The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 14 of the top 15 players in the ATP Rankings. Each team will consist of four players per country.
ATP Cup Tournament Director Tom Larner said that one is expecting some spectacular tennis action with the players available. "The players are looking forward to stepping up and representing their countries again, and the field, including defending champions Serbia and finalists Spain, is strong. This is a format that shows off the passion of the players and we're expecting some spectacular tennis action."