Hours before the ball even drops in Times Square, the 2022 tennis season will kick off on New Year’s Day halfway across the world in Sydney, Australia, at the ATP Cup.

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Day 1: Saturday, January 1st, 2022

The first four group ties take place on Saturday—Spain faces Chile and Serbia takes on Norway in Group A, while Greece plays Poland and Argentina plays Georgia in Group D.

And it’s a star-studded line-up, with three Top 10 players (No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 8 Casper Ruud and No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz) and four more Top 20 players (No. 13 Diego Schwartzman, No. 17 Cristian Garin, No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta) taking the court.

There’s going to be an all-Top 10 match-up on the first day of the new year, too, with Tsitsipas set to play Hurkacz in the Greece-Poland tie—Tsitsipas leads the head-to-head, 6-2, but their last six meetings in a row have gone to three sets, and Hurkacz actually won their last meeting nine months ago, rallying from 6-2, 2-0 down to win in the quarterfinals of Miami, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Medvedev led his country to both the ATP Cup and Davis Cup titles in 2021.

Medvedev led his country to both the ATP Cup and Davis Cup titles in 2021.

Day 2: Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

The other two groups play their first ties on Sunday—in Group B, Russia plays France and Italy plays Australia, while in Group C, the U.S. takes on Canada while Germany faces Great Britain.

Four Top 10 players (No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, No. 3 Alexander Zverev, No. 7 Matteo Berrettini and No. 10 Jannik Sinner) and three more Top 20 players (No. 11 Felix Auger-Aliassime, No. 12 Cameron Norrie and No. 14 Denis Shapovalov) are in action in that second wave of opening ties.

Medvedev won a tour-leading 63 matches in 2021, and among that was a flawless 10-0 record at team events—he went 4-0 at the ATP Cup last February, 1-0 at Laver Cup in September and 5-0 at the Davis Cup Finals at the end of the year. He also won 20 of 21 sets along the way, only dropping one set to Zverev in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win in the ATP Cup semifinals.

“Last year was amazing for Russian tennis in general,” said Medvedev, who led his country to both the ATP Cup and Davis Cup titles in 2021. “And I think that’s what can, again, help us a lot this week because everybody is expecting us to do well.

"I mean, usually, you know, I like this kind of pressure. It makes you play better.”

The reigning US Open champion has a tricky first match of 2022, though, taking on Ugo Humbert, who actually won the pair’s only previous meeting—the No. 35-ranked French lefty took out the Russian, 6-4, 6-3, in Hamburg in 2020, though that was on clay.

Russia are the defending champions at the ATP Cup, beating Italy in the 2021 final. Serbia, led by Novak Djokovic, won the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in 2020, beating Spain in the final.

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