Tough draw for Djokovic's Serbia in ATP Cup

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP Cup - Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney, Australia - January 13, 2020 Serbia captain Nenad Zimonjic, Novak Djokovic Nikola Milojevic, Dusan Lajovic, Nikola Cacic and Viktor Troicki celebrate with the trophy after winning the ATP Cup REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Reigning champions Serbia, led by world number one Novak Djokovic, will play Germany and Canada in the group stage of the ATP Cup in Melbourne next week after the draw was made on Friday.

The men's team competition made its debut in cities around Australia last year but will be truncated and played only at Melbourne Park from Feb. 1-5 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will, however, offer the players their first competitive outings after the 14 days of hotel quarantine they had to undergo ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on Feb. 8.

Djokovic led Serbia to the inaugural title with a victory over Rafa Nadal's Spain in Sydney last year but his path to a return to the final was not helped by a tough draw in Group A.

The Germany team will be spearheaded by Alexander Zverev, while Denis Shapovalov is the standout player in a Canada side also featuring Milos Raonic.

The winning team from each of the four first-round groups will go directly into the semi-finals.

Nadal's Spain team will play Greece and Australia in Group B, an easier draw given the Greeks have little depth beneath world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas and the hosts will be without Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios paid the price for a year of inaction because of COVID-19 concerns when his world ranking slipped to 46, leaving Alex de Minaur to lead the home side.

Kyrgios has since slipped another place to 47th.

Dominic Thiem's Austria were the top seed in Group C and they will face Italy and France, while Russia will be favourites to top Group D ahead of Argentina and Japan.

Russia are the only team with two top 10 players in their side in Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, while Argentina and Japan are led by world number nine Diego Schwartzman and world number 41 Kei Nishikori respectively.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


100% readers found this article insightful

Next In Tennis

Injured Barty withdraws from Qatar Open
Halep pulls out of Qatar Open
Chasing pack not close to toppling 'Big Three', says Murray
Australian Open beats the odds to lay out a blueprint
World number one Barty uncertain of schedule as Osaka closes in
Djokovic faces a sideline spell with muscle tear after sweet success
Djokovic's 'sublime 9' a statement to the chasing pack
Djokovic will overtake Federer's Grand Slam tally, says coach Ivanisevic
Medvedev hopes for more chances to end Grand Slam drought
Djokovic goes from 'persona non grata' to nine-times champion

Stories You'll Enjoy