The Summer of Tennis is set to look a little different in 2020.
The summer of tennis keeps getting hotter, with the inaugural ATP Cup set to land in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth this January.
The ATP Cup is ready to introduce a new kick-off to the men’s tennis circuit and put a fresh spin on the ATP Tour. For ten incredible days in the lead up to the Australian Open, 24 countries are set to battle it out.
With 24 teams spread across three cities, the competition is set to be fierce. The opening six days of the tournament will feature group stages in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth, before the highest-ranking teams head to Sydney for the final four days of knockouts heading into the final.
Who will take part in the ATP Cup?
There will be 24 nations selected to take part in the inaugural ATP Cup. The teams that participate are determined by the singles ranking of their best player, with each team featuring between three and five players.
The top 19 teams have been locked in, as below:
Argentina (Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella)
Australia (Nick Kyrgios and Alex De Minaur) – *Wildcard*
Austria (Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak)
Belgium (David Goffin and Steve Darcis)
Canada (Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic)
Croatia (Borna Coric and Marin Cilic)
France (Gael Monfils and Benoit Paire)
Great Britain (Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund)
Georgia (Nikoloz Basilashvili and Aleksandre Metreveli)
Germany (Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff)
Greece (Stefanos Tsitsipas and Michail Pervolarakis)
Japan (Kei Nishikori and Yoshihito Nishioka)
Italy (Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini)
Russia (Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov)
Serbia (Novak Djokovic and Dusan Lajovic)
South Africa (Kevin Anderson and Lloyd Harris)
Spain (Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut)
USA (John Isner and Taylor Fritz)
For a country to qualify, it must have at least three players with an ATP ranking, and two of them must be singles rankings.
How does the ATP Cup work?
Once all 24 nations are selected, they will be divided into six groups of four teams each, with two groups based in each city. The teams will face off in ‘ties’ made up of two singles matches and one doubles match, and each team is guaranteed to play three ties during the group stages.
From here the top team in each group, alongside the top two second-place finishers (for a total of eight teams), will head to Sydney for the finals – with knockout games to determine the ATP Cup champions and share in US$15 million in prizemoney. An undefeated singles player could also earn 750 ATP Rankings points and an undefeated doubles player could earn 250 points.
The format and order of play
Each ‘tie’ will be made up of two singles and one doubles match. The team that wins two of the three matches wins the tie. Each team will play three ties in the group stage.
Each date will have a day and night session at each venue. The first singles match will be played between the no. 2 ranked competing players, followed by the second singles match between the two no.1 ranked players.
The doubles match will be played following this, irrespective of whether the result of the tie is decided after the singles matches or not.
Where is each country going?
The draw for the first 19 teams and which city they will head to for the group stages has now been confirmed.
What else is happening in the Australian Open lead-up?
In addition to the men’s ATP Cup, there will also be the women’s Brisbane International, running from Monday 6 January until Sunday 12 January. This will be held at the Queensland Tennis Centre. Australian no.1 Ash Barty has already been locked in to play at the tournament.
2020 will also see the opening of the Adelaide International. This will be held at the renovated Memorial Drive Tennis Centre and will see over 100 of the world’s best players in both the ATP (men’s) and WTA (women’s) compete.
Marking the very first WTA tournament held in South Australia, the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre has recently undergone an $11 million redevelopment, including a brand-new canopy roof over centre court.
Current world no.6 and former no.1, as well as recent Wimbledon Champion, Simona Halep has already been locked in to compete at the tournament.
The Hobart International will also host a WTA (women’s) event prior to the Australian Open at the Domain Tennis Centre. Running from Saturday 11 January until Saturday 18 January, this will be the final tournament prior to the beginning of the Australian Open on Monday 20 January at Melbourne Park.
Wherever you are across the country, there is tennis for you.
With the ATP Cup heading to Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, as well as the Adelaide International, Hobart International and of course Australian Open in Melbourne, there is plenty of tennis happening this summer. We can’t wait.
*Players are correct at time of writing