Inaugural ATP Cup brings s to first month of men’s tennis calendar

The 10-day ATP Cup has been integrated into the 2020 calendar as a major launch to the season

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis
Novak Djokovic (Photo: Marianne Bevis)
Novak Djokovic (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

The Association of Tennis Professional has released its 2020 calendar, and among its 63 tournaments across 29 countries, it includes the debut playing of the team-format ATP Cup—the first event to kick off the season on 3 January.

The 10-day ATP Cup has been integrated into the calendar as a major launch to the season, but has forced changes elsewhere to the other events formerly scheduled in the opening weeks of January.

The precursor to and preparation for the first Major of the year in Melbourne, it will be based in Sydney and Brisbane, in place of the tournaments currently held in those cities, plus one other city yet to be confirmed. It is widely expected that the displaced ITF-run Hopman Cup will provide the third venue, in Perth on the west coast of Australia.

The ATP Cup, held in partnership with Tennis Australia, will feature 24 countries competing for $15 million in prize money, the biggest purse of any ATP tournament on the calendar, and with a maximum of 750 rankings points at stake.

Completing the pre-Australian line-up will be a return to Adelaide for the first time since 2008, in a tournament to be held alongside Auckland during the week immediately before Melbourne.

The Hopman Cup and the Sydney and Brisbane tournaments are not the only events to be directly impacted by the ATP Cup.

The only tournament on offer at the same time as the ATP Cup will be Doha. The other, the ATP 250 in Pune, India, will move from that first week of the year to the fifth—that is, from before the Australian Open to after it—and into the same week as the indoor Montpellier event in Europe and one of the events that comprises the brief South American clay swing, Cordoba.

There is also a significant move for the ATP250 in Sofia, Bulgaria, which switches from the February indoor swing to September, when the larger part of the tour heads to the Far East for the lucrative Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai swing.

The season will culminate with the 50th anniversary of the Nitto ATP Finals, which will be held at London’s O2 for the 12th consecutive year.

Along the way, there will be minor adjustments in scheduling for the post-Wimbledon July tournaments as 2020 is Olympic year, and the tennis event in Tokyo will commence in the week beginning 25 July.

The ATP has also confirmed that all tournaments in 2020 will feature the Shot Clock, one of many innovations implemented after trials at the innovative NextGen ATP Finals in Milan.

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