First ATP Cup an Overwhelming Success
After much debate and discussion on whether it was necessary to have the ATP Cup, considering team competitions like the Laver Cup and the Davis Cup already existed, the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup went ahead this year, with many tennis fans unsure of what to expect.
However, what was delivered was what perhaps we should have been expecting: high quality tennis played with the passion and excitement that comes with representing one’s nation. The other key difference between the ATP Cup and the Davis Cup was that the ATP Cup did not suffer from an absence of top players, with most of the World’s Top 20 competing, something we did not see at the Davis Cup last year.
In the end, it was Team Serbia who clinched victory in the final tie against Spain in Sydney, with Victor Troicki and Novak Djokovic winning a relatively straightforward final doubles match 6-3 6-4. Things were looking promising for Spain when Roberto Bautista Agut beat Dusan Lajovic in the first singles rubber, but a slow start from Nadal in the second rubber allowed Djokovic to get ahead and eventually level the tie 6-2 7-6, despite a late resurgence from Nadal in the second set. Nadal was too physically spent to take part in the final doubles, meaning that Lopez and Carreno Busta played together for the first time ever, but simply never gelled, allowing the Serbian pair to play comfortable tennis on their way to victory.
“I’ll remember this experience for the rest of my life as definitely one of the nicest moments in my career,” Djokovic said. “I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to have an amazing career the last 15 years, but playing for the team, playing for the country with some of my best friends for a long long time, you can’t match that. That’s just too special.”
Victory for their respective nations was not the only thing on offer to the players participating in the ATP Cup. Rankings points were on offer for every match win, meaning that players like Dan Evans, who beat the likes of De Minaur and Goffin and generally put in an excellent effort for Team Great Britain, was rewarded with rankings points, pushing him up to 33 in the ATP rankings, a new career high, meaning Evans could easily be seeded for the Australian Open. Others like Kyrgios, Hurkacz and Medvedev all benefitted with a rise in the rankings.
Written by Emre Saridogan