Novak Djokovic to Play ATP Cup Before Australian Open Title Defence




After the ATP announced the updated 2021 calendar, they put all rumors to rest surrounding the cancellation of the warm-up tournaments before the 2021 Australian Open. As per the official statement, the ATP Cup will take place in the first week of February on the same dates alongside the Adelaide International, which has been relocated to Melbourne.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his group stage match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Novak Djokovic confirms participation

The 17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has confirmed his participation in the 2021 ATP Cup. Having led Serbia to victory at the inaugural ATP Cup last year, Djokovic will once again be the favorite heading to the Australian tennis season.

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At the 2020 ATP Cup, Djokovic defeated arch-rival Rafael Nadal in the final to seal the title for Serbia. Subsequently, Djokovic won a record 8th title at this year’s Australian Open by overpowering Dominic Thiem in an epic five-set final.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc across the world, the players will have to do a mandatory two-week quarantine after they arrive in Melbourne in mid-January next year. But Tennis Australian will allow the players to train for five hours during the quarantine period and then take part in the warm-up tournaments before the Australian Open, which begins from 8 February.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the match point during their final singles match daring day 10 of the ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

After ending the 2020 season with a semifinal loss at the ATP Nitto Finals, Djokovic will kick off his 2021 season playing the ATP Cup to adapt to the conditions before the first Grand Slam. Having already ended the season as the No.1 ranked player for the sixth time in his career, Djokovic has equaled Pete Sampras’s record.

With the GOAT debate intensifying after Nadal’s 20th Grand Slam victory at the French Open, Djokovic has a lot of catching up to do. The World No.1 is training hard during the ongoing offseason to find full fitness and compete at the highest level during the challenging Australian summer.