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Djokovic, Nadal, Federer commit to playing inaugural ATP Cup

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 14 Sep 2019
  • Djokovic, Nadal and Federer commit to playing ATP Cup in 2020
  • ATP Tour's new national team event announces first 19 countries to compete 3-12 January 2020
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have all committed to playing the inaugural ATP Cup in January 2020

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have all committed to playing the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020.

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The ATP Tour's new national team event, the ATP Cup, will feature the entire top 10 including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Andy Murray has also used his protected ranking of world no. 2 to secure Great Britain a place at the 2020 ATP Cup.

The first 18 nations to qualify for the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup have been announced, with the host nation, Australia, receiving a wildcard.

The first ATP Cup will be played from 3-12 January in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals taking place solely in Sydney - beginning less than six weeks after the conclusion of the Davis Cup finals, which features 20 nations and will take place in Madrid.

Twenty-four nations will compete in six round-robin groups, with the top-placed nation (along with the two highest second-place finishers) proceeding to the quarterfinals. Each nation will be represented by 4-5 players.

The initial 18 nations have been selected on the basis of the ATP Tour rankings on Friday 13 September, with the top 18 players (or 17, with Murray using his protected ranking of world no. 2) qualifying their countries and joined by the second-highest ranked player from that nation as the first two team members. With Australia receiving a wildcard as the host nation, the remaining five nations will be announced on 13 November.

The entire ATP Tour top 10 and 27 of the top 30 have committed to play, according to the ATP Tour announcement made on Friday.

ATP Cup 2020 teams

StandingNationPlayer #1RankingPlayer #2RankingCombined ranking
1SerbiaNovak Djokovic2Dusan Lajovic3436
2SpainRafael Nadal1Roberto Bautista Agut910
3RussiaDaniil Medvedev5Karen Khachanov1722
4AustriaDominic Thiem4Dennis Novak109113
5GermanyAlexander Zverev7Jan-Lennard Struff3542
6GreeceStefanos Tsitsipas6Michail Pervolarakis461467
7JapanKei Nishikori13Yoshihito Nishioka7386
8ItalyMatteo Berrettini8Fabio Fognini1220
9FranceGael Monfils10Lucas Pouille2232
10BelgiumDavid Goffin11Steve Darcis90 (PR)101
11CroatiaBorna Coric28Marin Cilic3967
12ArgentinaDiego Schwartzman14Guido Pella2539
13GeorgiaNikoloz Basilashvili26Aleksandre Metreveli680706
14South AfricaKevin Anderson91Lloyd Harris99190
15USAJohn Isner19Taylor Fritz3251
16CanadaDenis Shapovalov15Felix Auger-Aliassime2136
17Great BritainAndy Murray2 (PR)Daniel Evans4244
18AustraliaAlex De Minaur18Nick Kyrgios3048
19BulgariaGrigor Dimitrov20Dimitar Kuzmanov470490
20ChileCristian Garin33Nicolas Jarry77110
21PolandHubert Hurkacz37Kamil Majchrzak101138
22UruguayPablo Cuevas45Martin Cuevas521566
23MoldovaRadu Albot46Alexander Cozbinov821867
24NorwayCasper Ruud54Viktor Durasovic337391

Additional players for each nation and the final five teams will be confirmed on the second entry deadline of 13 November, with players who have been overtaken by a compatriot in the rankings by that point able to withdraw,

As will be seen from the table above, even with only two players named, the strength of the teams vary wildly. Only two of the 19 teams - Spain and Russia - can boast a combined ranking of under 20, while seven of the 19 have combined rankings above 100.

It's nevertheless a boost for the new event that the sport's biggest stars have all committed to playing. With each nation guaranteed to play three ties in the group stages, each tie consisting of two singles matches and a doubles match, top players can ensure that they play at least three matches in the first week of the new season even if they lose their opening match.

The highest-ranked players not committed to the ATP Cup so far, who cannot boast two higher-ranked compatriots, are world no. 19 Stan Wawrinka and world no. 25 Grigor Dimitrov. The latter might still qualify, with Bulgaria currently in 20th place in the ATP Cup standings, followed by Chile, Poland, Moldova and Uruguay (who would be led by Cristian Garin, Hubert Hurkacz, Radu Albot and Pablo Cuevas respectively).

'We’re delighted to see such a star-studded player field lining up for the inaugural ATP Cup. Our belief was that week one in the calendar, together with Tennis Australia, would work best for player scheduling, and today’s announcement is a confirmation of that. Having the top players competing in this new global event is critical, and the ATP Cup looks set to kick off the ATP Tour season in a big way in 2020,' Chris Kermode, outgoing ATP Executive Chairman and President, said.

With so many of the ATP Tour's top players committed to playing the ten-day ATP Cup, it is likely to leave the field for the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, which also takes place in the first week of the season, looking extremely denuded.

The ATP Cup has already killed the popular dual-gender Hopman Cup event, which traditionally kicked off the new season. The Brisbane International, formerly an ATP and WTA combined event, will be played alongside the ATP Cup in Brisbane.

Tennis Australia are apparently less invested in showcasing the sport's top female stars - ironic given that the current WTA world no. 1 is Australia's Ashleigh Barty.

CEO Craig Tiley said:

'This is an incredibly exciting time for tennis fans. We are thrilled with the amazing support the ATP Cup has attracted from the players. This event will globally launch the tennis season in a manner that will enthrall fans and entice the next generation to our sport. January can’t come quick enough.'

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Djokovic, Nadal, Federer commit to playing inaugural ATP Cup

The entire ATP Tour top 10, led by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, have committed to playing the new ATP Cup when it takes place from 3-12 January 2020 as the first 19 nations to qualify are announced

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