The first ever season of the newly launched ATP Cup will be played from the year 2020 according to its launch that took place during the ongoing ATP World Tour Finals.
Australia will play host to this ATP Cup and 24 teams from around the world will participate in this tournament. Three cities in the country will be selected as venues with matches to be played over a 10-day period.
The announcement was made with the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic – who is also the President of the ATP Player Council – in tow as ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode and Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia joined hands to deliver the format of the tournament.
According to ATP, the tournament has been carved out after talks with players, organisers and sponsors.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that ATP has organised a team competition. Between 1978 and 2012, there was one such tournament that was played in Dusseldorf, that went by the name of the ATP World Team Cup. Germany and USA had both won that tournament five times apiece, while Argentina, Sweden and Spain were four-time winners.
The first edition of the ATP Cup will have a prize money of US$15 million and players can win up to 750 ATP Rankings points. It also means this event will replace the ongoing Hopman Cup that is also a team event, played in Perth in the month of January.
“I like that it’s owned by ATP, by the players, and that we have ranking points, and it’s going to be the best way to kick start the season.”
“Australia is a country that has a Grand Slam, that nurtures tennis tradition. More than 90 per cent of the time we’re playing as individuals and we don’t have too many team events. This is going to bring together a lot of nations and for me personally it will be a very nice and proud moment to represent my country.”
How will the tournament be played? The 24 qualifying teams will be divided into six groups of four teams each, and the top eight teams at the end of the group stages of the competition making it to the quarter-finals. This will be followed by the semi-finals and the final.
Each team will be allowed a maximum of five players and every tie will consist of two singles and a doubles match. More information on the qualification process and the exact venues will be known soon.
Interestingly, the Davis Cup, in its newest avatar will also take place soon after in February which could take some of the sheen away from at least one of these competitions.