On paper, there appears to be a clear favorite in Group D of the ATP Cup, the men’s international team competition starting this week in Melbourne. No one, though, will be willing to cede any ground in their efforts to advance.
Here’s a look at three players that should play a critical role for Russia, Argentina and Japan. (All photos: Getty Images)
RUSSIA: Andrey Rublev
Last year, Rublev won five titles in a pandemic-shortened campaign—the most in the men’s game—and cracked the Top 10 in the world for the first time.
And at the ATP Cup, he’s playing in the No. 2 spot.
The Russian team is the only one with two current Top 10 member competing, as Daniil Medvedev is No. 4 in the rankings. It should be a favorite not only in group play, but for the overall title, too. However, doubles could be a tricky proposition if the other two members of the team, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy, are forced to team up. Russia has to put on the pressure from the start, which means the heavily favored Rublev has to set the tone with convincing wins right off the bat. If not, Russia can be in for some battles.
ARGENTINA: Guido Pella