10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

2022 ATP Cup Preview: With Djokovic and Rublev Missing, Italy Could be the Favorite to Win

Matteo Berrettini of Italy in action during a practice session ahead of the 2022 ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena on December 29, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images).

By Ricky Dimon

Following a typically short tennis offseason, the 2022 ATP calendar is ready to begin on Saturday, January 1. And we’re going from one team competition to another, as the Davis Cup gives way to the ATP Cup.

This much newer event features 16 countries split into four groups of four. Each team faces the other three in its round-robin quartet and the four group winners will advance to next week’s semifinals. Every tie — including the semis and final — is best two out of three matches (two singles, one doubles).

Here is the 2022 field, divided by groups.

Group A

Group B

Group C
Great Britain
United States

Group D

This is the third installment of the ATP Cup after Serbia won the inaugural competition in 2020 and Russia lifted the trophy at the start of last season. Spain and Italy were the respective runner-ups.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia in action during a practice session ahead of the 2022 ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Russia also triumphed in the Davis Cup a few weeks ago, but without Andrey Rublev or even Karen Khachanov this time around it is a different-looking squad in Australia. World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev does not have as much help as he is accustomed to, so the Russians will be hard-pressed to advance out of a brutal Group B that also includes Italy, Australia, and France.

The Italians are arguably the favorites with Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner, Lorenzo Sonego, and Simone Bolelli on the roster. In addition to finishing as runner-ups in 2021, they also recently advanced to the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

“We feel happy to be here,” Berrettini said at Italy’s ATP Cup pre-tournament press conference. “I think it’s possible [to win the title], the team is even stronger this year, so for sure our aim is to win the title. We know it’s going to be a tough job. Every match is going to be difficult, but we believe that we can do it.”

The other “Group of Death” so to speak is home to Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. Unlike Russia (missing Rublev) and Serbia (missing Novak Djokovic), all four of the aforementioned teams in Group C are well-stocked with their top players.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.