Roger Federer has been named in the Swiss team for the 2021 ATP Cup alongside Stan Wawrinka. Federer will be making his debut in the tournament, which replaced the mixed-team Hopman Cup, as he skipped the inaugural edition in 2020.
The news comes as a reassurance for all the Federer fans who were eagerly awaiting his comeback to tennis. The 20-time Grand Slam champion had not played since the 2020 Australian Open as he underwent two knee surgeries.
While receiving an award earlier this month, Federer had said that he was still in doubt for the Australian Open, despite the Grand Slam being pushed to a February 8 start.
Federer will play for Switzerland alongside good friend and three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka.
The ATP Cup will be played from February 1-5, 2021, at Melbourne Park, a week before the Australian Open.
Australian Open men’s qualifying will take place from 10-13 January in Doha, and the allocated dates of 15-31 January will then allow for travel and a 14-day quarantine period for all players and support staff travelling to Melbourne, in accordance with requirements of Australian public health and immigration authorities.
The controlled environment quarantine period will enable players to prepare ahead of the ATP Cup in Melbourne, played alongside the relocated Adelaide International, as well as an additional ATP 250 tournament, all held in Melbourne.
The ATP Cup has been reduced from 24 to 12 teams this year and offers a prize purse of $7.5 million.
An undefeated player taking part in the 2021 ATP Cup can score up to a maximum of 500 points as compared to 750 points in 2020. A doubles player, who finishes the entire tournament undefeated will gain 250 points.
The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three teams each in a round-robin format. The winners of each group will qualify for the semifinals.
Also making his debut in the tournament will be former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori. The 31-year-old has had injury struggles of his own and will be looking for a bright start to 2021. He will represent Japan along with the talented southpaw Yoshihito Nishioka.
Meanwhile, defending champions Serbia will be represented by World No 1 Novak Djokovic and Susan Lajovic. Djokovic was the star of the show in January this year as he helped his team beat a strong Spanish side 2-1 in the final.
Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista-Agut will represent Spain in the ATP Cup.
ATP Cup Teams:
Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Dusan Lajovic
Spain: Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut
Austria: Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak
Russia: Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev
Switzerland: Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka
Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Michail Pervolarakis
Germany: Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff
Argentina: Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella
Italy: Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini
Japan: Kei Nishikori and Yoshihito Nishioka
France: Gael Monfils and Benoit Paire
Australia: Wild card
Substitute country: Canada: Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic