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Nadal, Djokovic differ on ATP Cup's value as Australian Open warm-up

Nadal, Djokovic differ on ATP Cup's value as Australian Open warm-up

The Inaugural team event featured a tougher build-up than most players are used to a week before the Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic appear to have different views on whether the ATP Cup is good warm-up for a Grand Slam, but both agree that there should be just a single national team competition in the sport.

The inaugural ATP Cup featured long matches in both singles and doubles, a tougher build-up than most players are used to a week before the Australian Open.

Nadal did not play the deciding doubles for Spain, having travelled from Perth to Sydney during the competition and had two long singles matches in the semifinals and final.

"Is a long competition. Is a tough way to start the season. I don't know," he told press at Sydney following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the final. "My level of energy is a little bit lower than usual, because I played long yesterday, very long before yesterday."


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Though saying the ATP Cup was "a great competition," Nadal added that "two World Cups in one month is not real"—the ATP Cup began just six weeks following Spain's victory in the ITF-run Davis Cup, tennis's traditional contest between nations.

"So we need to find a way to fix it and we need to find a way to make a big deal with ITF and ATP to create a big World Team Cup competition, not two World Cups in one month. I think that's a confusion for the spectators," he said. "And for the health of our sport and for the benefit of our sport is, in my opinion, mandatory that we fix it."

But Djokovic, who went undefeated, called the event "perfect preparation" and said he could "take that positive energy and use it" for Melbourne.

Still, at the beginning of the event the Serb had also called for a single national team competition. Serbia fell in the quarters to Russia in Davis Cup before winning the ATP Cup.

"We need to have one Super World Cup event, whatever you want to call it," Djokovic said before the ATP Cup began. "I hope it happens because it's tough to get top players to commit to both events. And it's six weeks apart, so they're not really helping each other."

Nadal was not scheduled to play this week, giving him a few days off before the Australian Open. Djokovic was scheduled to play Adelaide, but withdrew just before the ATP Cup semifinals.