Casper Ruud will carry an unexpected target as his group’s best-ranked player when Norway return to the ATP Cup.
The late withdrawal of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s COVID-19 setback has opened up the attract for the Norwegians, who will play versus Serbia, Spain and Chile in the groups celebration in Sydney.
Ruud shot into the world’s major 50 at the starting of the 2020 time when he conquer prime-20 pair John Isner and Fabio Fognini in Perth in the crew event’s debut.
He is now No.8 in the environment and a person of a host of fresh new faces eyeing possibilities presented No.1 Djokovic and 20-time major winner Nadal could pass up the Australian Open up.
Roger Federer’s absence from the ATP Tour considering the fact that halfway by means of the season mainly because of a knee harm has also made openings for rising stars.
“We had been underdogs in every match we played (in 2020),” Ruud recalled.
“I was capable to get two great wins in Perth, which was variety of the starting of a good yr for me.
“This 12 months I wouldn’t have been the No.1 participant in the team if Novak would have played.
“Of study course I will check out of course to get each match, but at the similar time, every single match will be hard. Every single opponent is a difficult opponent.”
Chile boast environment No.17 Cristian Garin, Serbia will be headed by No.33 Dusan Lajovic and Spain have a generally stacked squad.
Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta – the world’s No.19 and 20 – give a formidable 1-two punch even without the need of Nadal.
“There are 3 details (to gain from 3 rubbers) so it truly is really crucial to have good crew, not just a good No.1,” Carreno Busta explained.
“I consider that in this circumstance Spain has a really excellent workforce excellent No.1 in Roberto, but also No.2, 3,4, and 5.”
Earth No.2 Daniil Medvedev, No.3 Alexander Zverev and No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas offer the star electrical power in their respective groups.
Australia will participate in France, Italy and Russia and be led in singles by Alex de Minuar, who has dropped to 34 in the planet.
But Greek chief Tsitsipas said the tournament, gained by Russia past calendar year and Serbia in 2020, was about extra than rankings.
“For every single of us, symbolizing Greece on an ATP Cup stage signifies a ton,” he claimed.
“Greece is recognised to excel in workforce events these as soccer and basketball, it can be in our character.
“We have a group of young players more hungry than anyone else and that will make us stand out.”