SYDNEY: World number one Novak Djokovic will begin his 2020 season in Brisbane, Rafael Nadal in Perth and Roger Federer in Sydney after Monday’s draw for the ATP Cup, the new world tennis team event.
The championship, which will take place from Jan 3-12 in the lead-up to the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open in Melbourne, will feature 24 nations split into six groups across Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
Eight teams – with up to five players each – will emerge from the round-robin stage to compete in the knockout phase in Sydney until one is left standing
Most of the world’s top 30 men will take part, with ties comprising two singles and one doubles match.
At the draw in Sydney, Djokovic’s Serbia were pitted against France, South Africa, Germany, Greece, Canada and wildcard entry Australia in Brisbane.
Nadal’s Spain will face Japan, Georgia, Russia, Italy and the United States in Perth while Federer’s Switzerland take on Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Argentina and the Andy Murray-led Britain.
The final five nations in the ATP Cup standings, based on the ranking of their number one singles player, will be determined by the second entry deadline of Nov 13.
The new-look start to the year offers A$22 million (US$15 million) in prize money and a maximum of 750 singles and 250 doubles ATP rankings points
It will be held on the back of a revamped Davis Cup, run by the International Tennis Federation, in November, bringing together 18 nations in one place for a week at the end of the 2019 season.