The Spanish team led by the second ranked world Rafael Nadal will seek to dethrone the Serbia of Novak Djokovic, current champion, in a ATP Cup that reduced its participation to twelve teams as a measure to contain the pandemic and to be held only in Melbourne Park.
In the first edition of the team championship organized by the ATP that took place in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney in 2020, the Balkan team halted the convincing advance of the Spaniards until the moment after Djokovic came back, with his victories in the singles and doubles, the first point won by the Castellón Roberto Bautista.
The Spanish team will debut this year in group B of the ATP Cup against hosts Australia on the opening day during the night shift at a crossing that will be played at the Rod Laver Arena center court this Tuesday.
The star duel of the clash will be the second match between the two number one, the Spanish Rafael Nadal and the Australian Alex De Miñaur, who will take to the track after the conclusion of the first round between Roberto Bautista and John Millman.
“Last year we played a very exciting game in the ATP Cup that was not very good for me. It will be a tough battle because Australia has a great teamWe’ll see if we’re ready for it, “Nadal explained at the Spanish team’s press conference prior to the start of the ATP Cup.
Bautista will start his match at 7:30 Spanish time, while Nadal will play around 10:00 as his match will start when his compatriot finishes to determine who gets the first point of the night.
Once the two individual points are concluded, the Spanish Pablo Carreño and Marcel Granollers will probably face off against the young De Miñaur and Nick Kyrgios.
The ‘aussies’ will debut in the ATP Cup precisely before the team that woke them up from sleep in the last edition in the semifinals after Bautista and Nadal themselves overcame the young De Miñaur and Kyrgios, who will not represent his team in the singles since he occupies a worse position than Millman in the ATP ranking.
For its part, Serbia, the main favorite and current champion, will be in charge of giving the starting gun in the morning to the competition due to its condition of defending the title against Canada (group A), a match that will take place simultaneously with the duel between Austria and Italy (group C) at the John Cain Arena court.
At night, at the same time as the crossing between Spain and Australia, they will be measured at the John Cain Arena the teams of Russia and Argentina in a match corresponding to the first day of group D.
They will have to wait for the second day of the competition to debut the teams of Greece, who will face Australia in the morning pass (group B); Japan, which will cross with Russia also in the morning (group C); Germany, against Serbia in the afternoon (group A); and France, who will start their way against Austria (group D).
The third day, which will serve to meet the semifinals that have not yet been resolved in previous rounds, will include the duel of Spain that will repeat both the stage and the schedule of its debut but this time against the Greece of Stefanos Tsitsipas.
They will complete the day Serbia against Germany on center court in the first turnAustria against France also in the morning but at the John Cain Arena; as well as Argentina against Japan, in the same stadium but in a night pass.
Group A: Serbia, Germany and Canada
B Group: Spain, Greece and Australia
Group C: Austria, Italy and France
Group D: Russia, Argentina and Japan