Covid Causes Schedule, Venue Change
The second iteration of the ATP Cup will not be played in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, Australia on January 1st through the 10th with 24 teams vying for tennis supremacy as scheduled. However, that doesn’t mean Covid-19 claimed another victim because the ATP Cup has only been postponed and not canceled. The new venue will be isolated to Melbourne, Australia with only a dozen teams participating on February 1st through the 5th.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: “The reconfigured calendar for the start of the 2021 season represents a huge collaborative effort across tennis, under challenging circumstances. Together with the support of our tournament and player members, partners, and Tennis Australia, we have been able to adapt and create an exciting start to the season. Health and safety will continue to be paramount as we navigate the challenges ahead, and I want to thank everyone involved for their commitment to finding solutions to launch our 2021 season.”
The best sportsbooks have the odds for ATP and WTA events so if you’re inclined to bet a few bucks on your favorite team or player then make sure to check it out. And despite the change in schedule and reduction in the field, there is still plenty of buzz about the best players in the world representing their respective countries.
“Last year we launched the global tennis season with the inaugural ATP Cup,” stated ATP Cup Tournament Director Tom Larner. It was a huge success with both players and fans, and we are excited to present the second edition in Melbourne in 2021. The players are looking forward to stepping up and representing their countries again, and the field, including defending champions Serbia and finalists Spain, is strong. This is a format that shows off the passion of the players and we’re expecting some spectacular tennis action.”
ATP Cup Managing Director Ross Hutchins said: “Playing as a team, for one’s country, is a rare privilege in tennis which brings the best out of our players. This was highlighted by the incredible matches and camaraderie on display at last year’s inaugural ATP Cup. We would like to thank our partners, Tennis Australia, for their dedication and commitment to staging this year’s tournament, which promises to deliver a strong start to the new 2021 season. We cannot wait for tennis fans around the world to again share in the excitement and energy of this special event.”
American Isner Out of Australian Open
Although John Isner is the highest-ranked American at No. 25 on the ATP Tour, he is not the most recognizable name despite having entered the Australian Open in 12 of the last 13 Australian Open events. Isner’s booming serve, once clocked at 157.2 miles per hour, has carried him to lofty heights and 15 ATP Tour titles, although none of the major variety. The closest the 35-year-old veteran ever got was the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2018, the same year he was ranked No. 8 in the world, the highest-ranking of his career.
However, this year the familiar face will not be in attendance, choosing instead to spend time with his wife and two toddlers rather than deal with the quarantine rules and heavy traveling involved.
“At this stage of my career and in my life, I always had visions of being able to travel with my family. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case for Australia this year. Understandably so, I get it,” Isner said. “It really was just a situation where I didn’t want to be away from my family for that long. I decided to stay home.”
“I told myself prior to the pandemic that we were going to travel with them as much possible and we were going to make it as much fun as possible on the road,” Isner added. “When I travel in Europe, I was going to stay at the nicest hotels and just make a really nice trip out of all of it because I won’t be playing tennis forever, there’s no doubt about it. Certainly, right now, tennis is not the most important thing in my life. It’s my family.” There will still be plenty of excitement at the Australian, which runs from February 8th through the 21st but Isner’s jaw-dropping serves will be missed.