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By Chris Oddo | Friday November 16, 2018

Move over Davis Cup.

The ATP Cup is coming to Australia in 2020.

On Thursday the ATP announced that they’ll be launching the ATP season in 2020 with a 10-day event that will include 24 three-player teams from different nations.

The new date on the calendar puts the ATP Cup in direct competition with the newly renovated Davis Cup, which is an 18-nation event scheduled for Madrid on November 18-24. The Davis Cup, backed by Kosmos, an investment group headed by footballer Gerard Pique, has recently torn apart the older, traditional Davis Cup in an attempt to make it feel more like the World Cup—now they might be looking for a new date on the calendar for their final.

“The only thing which would be better if the year would have 13 months,” said Dominic Thiem on Thursday in London.

With players such as Alexander Zverev already saying they’ll never commit to the new Davis Cup because of the length of the ATP season and the late November date, ATP Cup is a logical choice. Set for early January, it will take the place of season-opening tour event in Brisbane, as well as the Hopman Cup (events in Doha and Chennai also typically take place in that week and it isn't known what will come of them yet). Players have to be in Australia at that time to make preparations for the Australian Open and it is speculated that many players will choose to play only one instead of both competitions.

But Jamie Murray says that the lucrative nature of both events might lure some players to lengthen their calendars: "My personal opinion is that both events are providing a lot of prize money, and I think that will encourage a large majority of the player field to play both events," he said.

Murray added that the ATP's event is in "pole position," due to the fact that they already have the allegiance of the players and the better date on the calendar.

"I think the ATP is in pole position to have a successful event purely based on the week that it's in," he said. "And also the players, they all want to support the ATP and their event."

The ATP once had negotiations with Kosmos, but those talks failed before Pique and company moved over to the ITF to strike a deal with Davis Cup. Now the event’s legitimacy appears to be in jeopardy unless they can find a more suitable date.

The ATP reportedly has been planning to revive the World Cup, once played in Dusseldorf to very little fanfare in April, and to elevate its status as not just a fan-friendly tennis festival.

Most agree that two similar team competitons occurring within six weeks of one another is not sustainable—especially with Laver Cup, a rapidly growing team competition that takes place in September after the U.S. Open, booming in popularity.

Which one takes precedence over the other and isn’t there a limit to how many team competitions tennis can have?

Tecnifibre T-Fight

Novak Djokovic, president of the ATP Player Council thinks so.

“I honestly don't think it's good for the sport,” he said of the notion of having multiple tennis World Cups on Wednesday in London. “More job opportunities for players, yes. But I think it's not sustainable. It will happen that we will have two average events. So I think creating one event is an ideal scenario and I think outcome for everyone.

“From what I've heard from conversations with people from all of the sides, different sides in this sport, they all want to have one event because it's over-saturated with different cups, different events. We have the longest season in all sports. We're just adding events. We kind of have to try to focus on quality rather than quantity.”

“I like that it’s owned by ATP players,” Djokovic said. “I like that we have ranking points. It’s the best way to kick-start the season.


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