New ATP Cup is no 'land grab', says Tour chief Kermode

Tanya Simon
November 18, 2018

A brand new startThe men's tennis tour said on Thursday the debut of the ATP Cup will take place in January 2020, just a week before the start of the Australian Open.

Three team events, including the Laver Cup which is entering its third year, seems excessive but Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley insisted: "We know from a fans' point of view they love the team events, so yes I believe it is sustainable".

Tennis Australia and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) have unveiled a new team competition called the ATP Cup which will start the men's tennis season from 2020.

On Thursday, however, Djokovic put his weight behind the ATP Cup.

Men's tour chief Chris Kermode denied the ATP Cup was a "land grab" and Federer, who partnered with Tennis Australia and others to launch the Laver Cup team event previous year, said players enjoyed representing something other than themselves.

The other tournaments at risk are the Brisbane and Sydney Internationals, which are run by Tennis Australia as part of the "Australian Open series" and include both ATP and WTA events.

"Obviously the Davis Cup and World Team Cup situation is delicate", Djokovic told reporters after his 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Zverev at the ATP Finals on Wednesday.

But the world number seven said he would approach the Davis Cup final, being held on clay courts in the northern French city of Lille, in good heart.

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"You can have multiple team events, that's not the issue", ATP president Chris Kermode said. "The Davis Cup has incredibly rich history".

"The Davis Cup has some serious issues to think about, I think", he said. "This is us promoting big events in which we can attract new audiences". "I think they can run alongside each other". Kermode said. "That's what the ATP is about, it's owned 50 percent by the players and 50 percent by the promoters, so it gives the players a huge voice in our sport to have their own event'". The sparsely-named ATP Cup will take place in the lead-up to the Australian Open, featuring 24 nations that will qualify on the basis of how high their top player is ranked.

Tiley said he was "pumped" for the new competition and said more than three cities were keen to stage it. It will be exciting, ' said the Swiss tennis player on the change of date for the Silver Bowl (Davis Cup) for 2019.

Nations will be split into six groups, with eight emerging to compete in a knockout phase.

There will be up to five players in each team, with ties comprising two singles matches and one doubles match.

World number 1 and the five-time ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic has played another impressive match to leave Guga Kuerten Group with a ideal 3-0 score, ousting Marin Cilic 7-6 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes for his 34th win at this tournament overall and the 52nd in 2018 so far and the 46th in the last 51 matches after Madrid!

In August the ITF got the go-ahead to revamp the 118-year-old Davis Cup with investment group Kosmos, headed by Spanish footballer Gerard Pique, putting in $3 billion over 25 years.

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