2020 Season Begins
After a 6-week break, tennis is finally back, but things are a little different this year. Instead of warm-up tournaments going no higher than ATP 250 level, the year has instead started with the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup, a team competition not dissimilar to the Davis Cup in which the best ranked nations of the tennis world compete against each other.
However, the notable difference between the two tournaments is the stronger presence of the world’s top players at the ATP Cup, with the only real notable absence being that of Roger Federer, who decided to spend time with his family ahead of a long year of tennis. Although both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal competed at the revamped Davis Cup last November, we are seeing players like Thiem, Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas playing at the ATP Cup, hinting that the event is proving more popular with the world’s best players.
The ATP Cup has started off with some very interesting ties, with mixed success for the top players. Team Germany, which includes World Number 7 Alexander Zverev, has had one victory and one defeat, with the sole victory being largely thanks to their doubles pair, who squeezed past Greece in a tense final set tie-break. Team Australia, spearheaded by Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur have become the first nation to qualify for the next stage of the tournament while, Bulgaria, Croatia and Russia have all made good starts.
Team Great Britain has had mixed fortunes. The side was already weakened due to the absences of Andy Murray (due to injury) and Kyle Edmund (due to unavailability) and was upset by an inspired Bulgaria team lead by Grigor Dimitrov in a tight deciding doubles in their first match. However, the Britons bounced back, producing an impressive comeback against group favourites Belgium thanks to Dan Evans’ win over David Goffin followed by Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury’s success in the doubles. Britain must win against Moldova on Tuesday to have any chance of staying in the tournament.
Written by Emre Saridogan