2022 ATP Cup: Preview, draw and match schedule

With the Australian Open just a few weeks away, some of the world’s best players will congregate at the 2022 ATP Cup as they step up their Grand Slam preparations.

The ATP Cup is an international team competition in Sydney which pits 16 nations against each other in a group stage and knockout format.

The 16 teams have been separated into four groups. Each side will play their opponent once and the winner of each group will progress to the semi-finals.

Each nation has at least one player who is ranked in the ATP's top 250. This year's edition of the tournament will miss the legendary trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, however other top 10 stars such as Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev will be in action.

Groups and schedule

Group A: Serbia, Norway, Chile, Spain

Group B: Russia, Italy, France, Australia

Group C: Germany, Canada, Great Britain, United States

Group D: Greece, Poland, Argentina, Georgia

Group stage games will take place from January 1 to 6. The first semi-final will take place a day later and it will see the winner of Group A take on the winner of Group D.

January 8 is the date of the second semi-final which will see the winners of Group B and C go head-to-head. The final will take place on January 9.

Group A: No Djokovic or Nadal but Serbia and Spain remain favourites

Roberto Bautista Agut (R) of Spain communicates with Dusan Lajovic of Serbia during the ATP Cup final between Spain and Serbia

Teams and players

Serbia: Dusan Lajovic (33), Filip Krajinovic (42), Nikola Cacic, Matej Sabanov

Norway: Casper Ruud (8), Viktor Durasovic, Lukas Hellum Lilleengen, Leyton Rivera, Andreja Petrovic

Chile: Cristian Garin (17), Alejandro Tabilo, Tomas Barrios Vera

Spain: Roberto Bautista Agut (19), Pablo Carreno Busta (20), Albert Ramos Vinolas, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Pedro Martinez

Dusan Lajovic of Serbia during the semi-finals of the Davis Cup 2021

Match schedule

Day 1 (Saturday, January 1)

Chile vs Spain

Serbia vs Norway

Day 3 (Monday, January 3)

Norway vs Spain

Serbia vs Chile

Day 5 (Wednesday, January 5)

Norway vs Chile

Serbia vs Spain

Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain returns the ball to Marin Cilic of Croatia during the men's singles quarterfinal tennis match of the ATP 250 St. Petersburg Open

Final day showdown will determine group winners

Serbia and Spain are the runaway favourites in this group and it's easy to see why.

Dusan Lajovic, who won this competition in 2020, and Filip Krajinovic, who is a former Davis Cup semi-finalist, bring a lot of experience to the table for the Serbs.

The same goes for their Spanish counterparts, Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta.

Batista Agut is a Wimbledon semi-finalist and a winner of the Davis Cup back in 2019. Carreno Busta, meanwhile, is an Olympic bronze medallist and was also part of the 2019 Davis Cup winning side.

Serbia and Spain go head-to-head on the final day of group stage action in a replay of the 2020 final - which was won by the Serbs. It's likely that the winner of that game will progress to the semi-finals.

Norway and Chile, on the other hand, don't have enough quality in their squads to pose much of a threat. Nevertheless, keep your eyes on Casper Ruud who is in good form and is the highest ranked individual player in this group.

The 23-year-old Norwegian reached the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in November and has enjoyed a solid campaign. He will be looking to single-handedly drag his team through the group.

Group B: Italy looking for Russian revenge

Daniil Medvedev with ATP Finals trophy

Teams and players

Russia: Daniil Medvedev (2), Roman Safiullin, Evgeny Karlovskiy

Italy: Matteo Berrettini (7), Jannik Sinner (10), Lorenzo Sonego, Simone Bolelli, Fabio Fognini

France: Ugo Humbert (35), Arthur Rinderknech, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Fabrice Martin

Australia: Alex de Minaur (34), James Duckworth, Max Purcell, John Peers, Luke Saville

Matteo Berrettini of Italy

Match schedule

Day 2 (Sunday, January 2)

Russia vs France

Italy vs Australia

Day 4 (Tuesday, January 4)

Italy vs France

Russia vs Australia

Day 6 (Thursday, January 6)

Russia vs Italy

France vs Australia

Alex De Minaur of Austalia returns the ball

Italy favourites but hosts can make things interesting

Last year, Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev cruised to ATP Cup glory as they both won their singles games to seal the title for Russia.

Italy, who failed to win a single set in that final, will have revenge on their minds - especially Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini who played in last year's showpiece.

The situation is a lot different this time round though. The Russians are without Rublev - who withdrew - while the Italians have 10th seed Jannik Sinner at their disposal. The two nations will go head-to-head on day six of the tournament.

Hosts Australia will be keen to impress on home soil but may lack the quality required to match the Italians. However, there's no reason why they couldn't give Russia a good run for their money, considering the defending champions are lacking the strength in depth which won them the title last year.

France, on the other hand, are just here to make up the numbers. The team replaced Austria who couldn't compete following the withdrawal of Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak's absence.

Group C: The group of death

Alexander Zverev

Teams and players

Germany: Alexander Zverev (3), Jan-Lennard Struff, Yannick Hanfmann, Kevin Krawietz, Tim Putz

Canada: Félix Auger-Aliassime (11), Denis Shapovalov (14), Brayden Schnur, Steven Diez

Great Britain: Cameron Norrie (12), Dan Evans (25), Liam Broady, Joe Salisbury, Jamie Murray

United States: Taylor Fritz (23), John Isner (24), Brandon Nakashima, Rajeev Ram

Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-0, 6-2, at the BNP Paribas Open being played at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells

Match schedule

Day 2 (Sunday, January 2)

Canada vs USA

Germany vs Great Britain

Day 4 (Tuesday, January 4)

Germany vs USA

Canada vs Great Britain

Day 6 (Thursday, January 6)

Great Britain vs USA

Germany vs Canada

Taylor Fritz (USA) In action during the Rolex Paris Masters 2021, match between Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Taylor Fritz (USA), ATP Tennis Masters 1000

All to play for in Group C

Out of all the groups at this tournament, this is the one which will produce the most drama and excitement.

Let's start with Germany. After making the semi-final last year, it's no surprise that three architects of that success have come back for more.

Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff and Kevin Krawietz will be looking to emulate last year's run and they will be joined by Yannick Hanfmann and Tim Putz.

The Germans might have the world number three in their ranks but other nations in this group won't be fazed by that.

Canada, for instance, enter the tournament with Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov leading the charge. Both players are ranked in the world's top 14 which certainly makes the Canadians a serious player in this competition.

Another team to watch are Great Britain. Cameron Norrie has enjoyed a sensational season and will be hoping to kick off 2022 with a bang. The Brit will be joined by the ever-threatening Dan Evans.

You also can't forget about two-time Grand Slam Doubles winners Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury.

Lastly, we have the Americans who enter this year's tournament with a fascinating combo of youth and experience.

The 24-year-old Taylor Fritz and 36-year-old John Isner cannot be underestimated - after all, there's a reason why they're both ranked in the world's top 25.

Group D: Strength in depth will prove vital

Stefanos Tsitsipas during an ATP Cup practice session at Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney,

Teams and players

Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas (4), Michail Pervolarakis, Petros Tsitsipas, Markos Kalovelonis, Aristotelis Thanos

Poland: Hubert Hurkacz (9), Kamil Majchrzak, Kacper Zuk, Jan Zielinski, Szymon Walkow

Argentina: Diego Schwartzman (13), Federico Delbonis, Federico Coria, Maximo Gonzalez, Andres Molteni

Georgia: Nikoloz Basilashvili (22), Aleksandre Metreveli, Aleksandre Bakshi, Zura Tkemaladze, Saba Purtseladze

Hubert Hurkacz (POL) during his first round match at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Italy on November 14, 2021.

Match schedule

Day 1 (Saturday, January 1)

Argentina vs Georgia

Greece vs Poland

Day 2 (Monday, January 3)

Poland vs Georgia

Greece vs Argentina

Day 5 (Wednesday, January 5)

Poland vs Argentina

Greece vs Gerogia

Diego Schwartzman during an ATP Cup practice session at Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney

Is Argentina the dark horse?

Each team in this group possesses a world-class singles player at the top of the order. The problem though, comes when you look at the rest of their line-up.

Let's begin with Poland who are led by world number nine, Hubert Hurkacz. The Poles made one other appearance at the ATP Cup which came back in 2020. Defeats to Argentina and Croatia ended their campaign early that season.

Poland are keen to impress but their lack of quality in the squad means Hurkacz will once again have to do the heavy lifting - both in the singles and doubles.

The same goes for Greece who are led by world number four, Stefanos Tsitsipas. Despite drafting in his younger brother, the Greeks lack enough quality to challenge for silverware.

Georgia also find themselves in a similar predicament. World number 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili is a superb individual talent but his team could drag him towards the exit door.

Lastly, we've got Argentina. Here, the situation is a little different as this is a team with a lot of strength in depth.

World number 13 Diego Schwartzman will be joined by Federico Delbonis, Federico Coria and the experienced doubles duo of Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni.

The 2020 quarter-finalists have the right tools to progress and could potentially threaten in the knockout stages.

READ MORE: Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem and three other ATP stars who need a big 2022

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