The inaugural ATP Cup will kick off the 2020 tennis season in Australia on Friday and the tournament managing director, Ross Hutchins, says it will be a chance to showcase innovation in the sport.
It is a team tournament that will feature 24 countries in six groups of four over 10 days in the host cities of Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.
Each match is played with two singles and one doubles match in a best-of-three-sets format with a total prize pot of 15mn US dollars and a maximum of 750 ATP ranking points for the best singles player and 250 points for the best doubles team.
Hutchins says the ATP Cup will also have new technology including an artificial intelligence system players and coaches can use for analysis and the use of video review on specific calls for the first time, which includes six dedicated cameras for detecting foot-faults.
“This ground-breaking new tournament has given us the opportunity to take a fresh look and put the players and innovation first across multiple aspects of the event, including rules, technology,
behind-the-scenes access, event production and more,” Hutchins said.
“The ATP Cup is set to shine a new and unique light on our sport for fans worldwide and we can’t wait for the action to get underway this week.”
The world’s top two players will be in action for their respective nations as world number one Rafael Nadal will hope to help Spain add to their Davis Cup triumph at the end of last season.
Spain are in Group B and will play in Perth against Japan, Georgia and Uruguay.
Number two Novak Djokovic will be in Brisbane with Serbia as they take on France, South Africa and Chile in Group A.
“I can’t wait for the inaugural ATP Cup event this year,” Djokovic said. “Australia always puts on a great show for tennis during January.
Any tennis event is successful in Australia and I’m sure the ATP Cup will be a blast.”
Germany, who are without their top player Alexander Zverev, are also in Brisbane as part of Group F with Greece, Canada and Australia.
And the Germans are not the only team to suffer losses.
Kei Nishikori says he is not “100 per cent ready” to play for Japan as he continues his recovery from an elbow injury sustained at last year’s US Open.
Britain will be in Sydney with Belgium, Bulgaria and Moldova in Group C, but they will be missing Andy Murray, who is also not match-fit to play.
In a statement, which also confirmed his withdrawal from the Australian Open, he said: “I’ve worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I’m gutted I’m not going to be able to play in Australia in January.”
The other group in Sydney is Group E, which features Austria, Croatia, Argentina and Poland.
Group D, who are based in Perth, will see Russia, Italy, Norway and the US. The winner will be decided on January 12 in the final.
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