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Tennis • 10sBalls • Ricky’s Preview And Picks For Day 1 of The 2020 Inaugural ATP Cup

By  Ricky Dimon

The inaugural ATP Cup starts on Friday, and with it comes the beginning of the 2020 season and a new decade in tennis.

Although the 2019 Davis Cup took place a little more than a month ago, it is already time for another team competition. Twenty-four teams will battle for glory throughout Australia in Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney over a 10-day stretch. Among the countries in Day 1 action are host nation Australia, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Ricky previews the Germany vs. Australia and Russia vs. Italy singles matches and makes his predictions.

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

The beginning of a new season and home-court advantage in Australia should be just what the doctor ordered for Kyrgios. Presumably he will be both healthy and motivated. Team competition generally brings out the best in the mercurial Aussie and he generally plays well Down Under. He also won’t have to grind through many baseline rallies against Struff.

Pick: Kyrgios in 2

Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. Alex de Minaur (AUS

Zverev surprisingly leads the head-to-head series 4-0. De Minaur, however, account himself extremely well in their only previous team matchup during 2018 Davis Cup action. The Australian pushed Zverev to five sets despite being in the extremely early stages of his career. With De Minaur coming off a strong finish to 2019 and playing at home, he should have an edge.

Pick: De Minaur in 3

Karen Khachanov (RUS) vs. Stefano Travaglia (ITA)

Khachanov took a minor step back in 2019, falling to 17th in the rankings. But he at least managed to play some decent tennis at the Davis Cup Finals, albeit going 1-3 in singles against tough competition. Travaglia is a mere 9-18 at the ATP level in his entire career and he has faced only three top-20 opponents (1-2 record with a win via retirement over Fabio Fognini).

Pick: Khachanov in 2

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs. Fabio Fognini (ITA)

Medvedev clearly needed some rest at the end of his breakout 2019 campaign and he benefited from it in the form of an exhibition title in December, beating none other than Fognini in the final. The Italian’s offseason included the recent birth of his second child. Advantage: Medvedev.

Pick: Medvedev in 2

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


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