ATP Cup: Sydney and Brisbane confirmed as host cities, third name to come
Sydney and Brisbane will be two of three host cities at next January's inaugural ATP Cup
The Sydney International, one of the last tournaments in the run-up to the Australian Open, provided an impressive backdrop for the announcement by the ATP of two of its venues for the all-new ATP Cup which launches in exactly 12 months’ time.
Brisbane, home to the combined ATP and WTA tournament last week, will host the round-robin week of competition for the ATP Cup alongside the existing women’s tournament, while Sydney will also host the final knock-out stages. The third venue will be announced shortly.
Ahead of the debut playing next January, Sydney has committed to £28 million worth of upgrades to the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, which will include a new roof on the Ken Rosewall Arena and Court 1.
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said:
“The first week of the season is when the players want to play, and that’s why the tournament has their strong support. By staging the event with Tennis Australia, which is renowned for its experience as an outstanding event promoter, we know that the tournament will be a great success from year one.”
The ATP Cup was launched in London during the World Tour Finals, and put some flesh onto the bones of the proposals for the new men’s team event that will become the primary preparatory tournament for the Australian Open from 2020. It will be held, controversially, just six weeks after the revamped Davis Cup Finals debut in Madrid at the end of 2019.
That London launch, attended by Kermode, the CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley, and Players’ Council President Novak Djokovic, confirmed some of the nuts and bolts.
The ATP Cup will cut across the two current weeks of tournaments—played in Brisbane, Doha, Pune, Auckland, Sydney and Perth [for the ITF Hopman Cup]—totalling 10 days from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 January 2020.
Players who do not qualify—and the criteria are still not entirely clear—or who do not wish to play will, the assurances have gone, still have alternatives. However, the current events in Sydney and Brisbane will no longer be ATP250 options, while the non-ATP Hopman Cup, which pairs male and female compatriots in a week-long team event, will certainly find it hard to compete from the opposite seaboard in Western Australia.
For the ATP Cup promises to be a big-scale, big-draw event, with up to 750 ranking points and a purse of £12.5 million on offer for upwards of 100 players.
So pending the reveal of the third and final venue for the ATP Cup, here are some of the facts so far.
· The event will comprise 24 teams, broken down into six groups of four. The eight top teams to come through the round-robin stage will advance to the knock-out quarters, semis and final.
· There will be up to five players in each team, with ties comprising two singles matches and one doubles match.
· The criteria for entry into the ATP Cup will be based on the rankings of the top singles player from each country.
· Much emphasis is being placed on the attraction for the players of combining points and prize money with playing for their nation—a rare opportunity in this most individual of sports.
For more on the ATP Cup and possible repercussions for other tournaments, check the article written after its launch, New team-based season opener, the ATP Cup, is launched – but many questions remain