The new tournament of the ATP circuit – on a different format and with national teams – brought several moments of great excitement during about two weeks and at the end it was Serbia that celebrated the title of the first edition of this new competition.
‘Nole’ seems to be physically and psychologically in shape
Novak Djokovic was absolutely decisive on the Serbian title, winning all of his 6 singles’ matches in the space of 9 days, besides the strong contribution he gave on the doubles.
The best Serbian tennis player of all time and one of the best in the history of the sport impressed again with his athletic ability and his solidity from the baseline and not even Rafael Nadal was able to find the antidote to stop him.
During his triumphant campaign for the Balkan country, Djokovic needed to beat famous opponents such as Kevin Anderson, Gael Monfils, Denis Shapovalov, Daniil Medvedev or Rafa Nadal, showing that he is virtually unbeatable when he is in the best physical and psychological conditions.
Once again, the idea that the Serbian is the best player in the world on hard court appeared and he might prove it again already within a week, on the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open.
Naturally, after winning the last edition and having started the new year with an excellent victory on the ATP Cup, Djokovic is the clear favourite to win at Melbourne Park for the 8th time in his career, presenting right now odds of 2.20 on Bet365 to do it.
Main threats are identified
The Spanish player showed some fatigue on the ATP Cup, losing to David Goffin and Novak Djokovic, finishing with a record of 4 victories and 2 losses that can’t exactly be considered positive for him.
With a week to rest before the start of the Australian Open, it is likely that Rafa will be in better conditions at the stat of the tournament. However, the demand of the competition can be too much for him at this stage of his career.
Nadal will have to deal with extreme temperatures that have been affecting the country, besides playing best-of-5 sets’ matches that can hurt his physical condition.
🏆🇷🇸CAMPEÃ! Com show de Novak Djokovic a Sérvia bate a Espanha por 2 a 1 e fica com o título da ATP Cup 2020! Depois de vencer Nadal nas simples, Djoko se juntou a Troicki e foi peça fundamental no triunfo nas duplas. 🎥: BandSports #SET #SomosTenis #ATPCup2020 #Djokovic pic.twitter.com/Y3doZNP6J9
— SomosTênis (@somostenisbr) January 12, 2020
Recently, the Spaniard had some abdominal problems that prevented him from playing at the best conditions on the ATP Tour Finals, not to mention the recurrent knee problems.
As for Roger Federer, the concern might be different. The Swiss player didn’t play on the ATP Cup – that way eliminating his country from the competition – and he will arrive in Melbourne after not competing at this start of the season.
It is a risky option, but a calculated one, with the “Swiss Maestro” trusting on a favourable draw that allows him to keep gaining rhythm during the first 2 or 3 rounds.
In any case, an unluckier draw can put him in check right at the initial stage of the tournament.
Rafael Nadal is priced at 4.00 as the 2nd favourite to win a competition he has only won once, while Roger Federer is at 7.00 on Bet365 to “lift the trophy” in Melbourne for the 7th time on his long career.
Daniil Medvedev leading the charge for the ‘NextGen’
Daniil Medvedev is coming off an amazing season where he won several titles and was defeated on several finals, namely on the last Grand Slam of the year, when he lost to Rafael Nadal in 5 sets on an epic battle for the US Open title.
The young Russian player started the year in typical fashion, winning 4 matches in the ATP Cup before losing on 3 rough sets to Novak Djokovic.
This way, we are forced to count with the charismatic Russian player that seems to have a very solid tennis, unlike other young talents that insist on not reaching the more advanced stages of important tournaments.
Serbia are the first ATP Cup Champions 🏆
Final Result: 🇷🇸 Serbia 2-1 Spain 🇪🇸
— The SportsGram (@TheSportsGram) January 12, 2020
Other young players like Denis Shapovalov ( 18.00 on Bet365) or Nick Kyrgios (14.00) also got off to a good start to the season on the ATP Cup, but they still need to confirm their solidity as players on a big tournament.
I should also highlight the other Russian that seems to be climbing fast on the world rankings. Andrey Rublev surprised on the last US Open by reaching the 8th finals after dealing with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gilles Simon and Nick Kyrgios.
And while many players battled at the ATP Cup, Rublev won a tournament in Doha with great authority, not dropping a single set during the week of competition and he can be a very dangerous “outsider” within a week.