ATP Cup: 5 Countries To Watch In Doubles
A doubles match will wrap up each tie at the ATP Cup and could play a crucial role in determining which country leaves with the trophy, making it imperative that the world’s best doubles players are in top form from the first ball.
ATPTour.com looks at five countries that could be dominant in doubles during the 10-day event. Team captains decide which players will pair up and the official doubles lineups for each tie are still to be determined.
Germany (Kevin Krawietz & Andreas Mies)
Krawietz/Mies produced the biggest doubles surprise of 2019 by storming through the Roland Garros draw as an unseeded duo for their first Grand Slam title (d. Chardy/Martin). The German pair also lifted tour-level crowns in Long Island (d. Gonzalez/Qureshi) and Antwerp (d. Ram/Salisbury), reached the semi-finals at the US Open and qualified for their maiden appearance at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London.
France (Nicolas Mahut & Edouard Roger-Vasselin)
Mahut and Roger-Vasselin enjoyed success together and with other partners this past season. They prevailed in Tokyo (d. Mektic/Skugor) to earn their seventh ATP Tour team doubles title.
Roger-Vasselin also won in Montpellier (w/Dodig), Lyon (w/Dodig) and Stockholm (w/Kontinen). Meanwhile, Mahut teamed with fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert to complete their Career Grand Slam at the Australian Open (d. Kontinen/Peers). They ended the year with titles at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris (d. Khachanov/Rublev) and the season finale in London (d. Klaasen/Venus).
Croatia (Ivan Dodig & Nikola Mektic)
After prevailing with Roger-Vasselin in Montpellier and Lyon, Dodig enjoyed a remarkable second half of 2019 with Slovakian Filip Polasek. One month after reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, they won their first Masters 1000 team title in Cincinnati (d. Cabal/Farah). The pair followed up with a trophy in Beijing (d. Kubot/Melo) and eventually qualified for the season finale in London.
Mektic proved his versatility by enjoying success with multiple partners. He won his first two Masters 1000 crowns in Indian Wells (w/Zeballos) and Monte-Carlo (w/Skugor), in addition to taking the title in Sofia (w/Melzer).
Great Britain (Jamie Murray & Joe Salisbury)
Salisbury looks to build on his breakout season with American Rajeev Ram. They earned titles this past year in Dubai (d. McLachlan/Struff) and Vienna (d. Kubot/Melo) to help clinch their spot in the season-ending championships, marking Salisbury's maiden appearance at The O2 in London.
Murray, a two-time men's doubles Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 player in the ATP Doubles Rankings, is still one of the most dangerous competitors on Tour. His consistent 2019 season included prevailing in Sydney and finishing runner-up in Barcelona (both w/Soares), in addition to semi-final showings at the US Open (w/N. Skupski) and Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo, Cincinnati and Shanghai.
United States (Rajeev Ram & Austin Krajicek)
Ram’s stellar year with Salisbury brought the 35-year-old into his third appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals. Krajicek also produced another solid season in 2019. Shortly after reaching the Acapulco final with Kiwi Artem Sitak (l. to Zverev/Zverev), he enjoyed success with Brit Dominic Inglot. The pair triumphed in ’s-Hertogenbosch (d. Daniell/Koolhof) and Atlanta (d. Bryan/Bryan), and also advanced to the final in Los Cabos (l. to Arneodo/Nys).