The countdown is on to the inaugural ATP Cup in January. To be played in three Australian cities and featuring 24 countries, the event will provide an explosive start to the 2020 ATP Tour season.
There’s lots to know about the new US$15 million tournament that will feature the world’s best players playing for their teammates and for the love of country. This week ATPTour.com will run a series of stories to provide fans with greater understanding of the event.
What is the ATP Cup?
The ATP Cup is an annual 24-country team competition featuring US$15 million prize money and a maximum of 750 singles and 250 doubles ATP Rankings points. ATP is staging the event in partnership with Tennis Australia.
When and where will it be played?
The ATP Cup will begin the ATP Tour each season, starting on the Friday before Week 1. The tournament will be a 10-day event finishing on the final Sunday of Week 1. The inaugural event in 2020 will be held from Friday 3 – Sunday 12 January. The ATP Cup will be played alongside an ATP 250 event in Doha that will occupy Week 1 of the calendar.
The group stages competition will be hosted across three Australian cities – Brisbane, Perth and Sydney – over six days. Immediately following the group stages will be the ATP Cup Finals, Sydney – quarter-finals over two days, semi-finals and final – all to be played at Ken Rosewall Arena.
How does the tournament work?
The 24 countries are divided into six groups of four for group stage, round-robin play. The six winners of each group and the two best second-placed finishers across the groups emerge as the Final Eight Teams to contest the ATP Cup Finals, Sydney.
What is the format?
Each tie will comprise two singles and one doubles match. The country winning two matches wins the tie. Every country will be guaranteed to play three ties in the group stages. Singles will be best-of-three tie-break sets. Doubles will feature No-Ad scoring and a Match Tie-break in lieu of a third set.
What is the daily schedule?
There is a day session and an evening session each day per venue. The first singles matches will be played at 10 a.m. local time, starting with the No. 2 players in each tie, followed by the No. 1 players, with the doubles to follow. All doubles matches will be played regardless of whether the tie is decided after the two singles matches.
How does a country qualify for the ATP Cup and which of its players get to play?
A minimum of three ATP ranked players, including two members with singles ATP Ranking points, are required for a country to be eligible to qualify. A country may have up to five players. If a team has five players, at least three must have an ATP Singles Ranking. If less than five players, a team must have at least two players with an ATP Singles Ranking.
When will the teams be announced?
The Top 18 countries will be announced soon after the first entry deadline of Friday, 13 September. If it is not in the Top 18 of the ATP Cup Standings on Friday, Australia will gain entry to the tournament as the host country. That would leave room for five additional teams to be announced at the 13 November second entry deadline. If Australia is in the Top 18 on Friday, an additional six countries will qualify at the second entry deadline.
How will entries work?
At this Friday’s first entry deadline, a country will gain acceptance into the event based on the ATP Ranking of the country’s No. 1 singles player. The qualifying country’s second-highest-ranked singles player will gain acceptance at the same time. If either of the two accepted singles players drop outside their country’s top two ranked singles players at the second entry deadline (13 November), either player may withdraw from the event. Remaining team members (up to an additional three players) will gain acceptance at the 13 November entry deadline, based on the current ATP Rankings.
Rankings to be used for entries are the 52-week ATP Rankings. A Protected Ranking can be used to enter provided the player’s Protected Ranking is valid through the entry deadline for which he is eligible. Protected Ranking will not be used for team seeding.
At the second entry deadline (13 November), the remaining five or six countries will qualify based on the ranking of their No. 1 singles player. Also, all qualified players from all teams will be committed at the second entry deadline.
View ATP Cup Standings
— This story was updated 12 September.