Spain Ready To Fight For ATP Cup Trophy
With World No. 1 Rafael Nadal leading the way, Spain will begin their campaign in the inaugural ATP Cup against Georgia this Saturday in Perth. They have their sights set on reaching the Final Eight in Sydney and emerging victorious in the new team competition, which brings 24 countries together to open the 2020 season on the ATP Tour.
Captained by Francisco Roig, Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, Feliciano Lopez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas will initially be bidding to come through Group B, which also includes Japan and Uruguay. In the build-up to Spain’s opener, the players spoke to ATPTour.com about their expectations of the ATP Cup and their chances at victory.
Nadal: We’re talking about a new competition that we’re all really excited about. Being able to share these days with teammates makes it a unique and special situation. We’ve always had a good understanding as a team. It personally makes me happy to start the 2020 season by sharing the ATP Cup with them.
Bautista Agut: It means a lot to me to be with the Spanish team here in Perth. I have dreamed of being in the group since I was little because of the atmosphere and spirit within the team. I think that’s what makes us truly special.
Carreno Busta: For me, being at the ATP Cup is also a good opportunity. But we are Spain and that means that I’m in the same team as the No. 1 and No. 9 in the [ATP Rankings], so there’s not much chance of me playing singles matches. Regarding the competition, I’m going to give my all. Training sessions this week will be essential to find some rhythm for the rest of the season.
Lopez: It’s a good chance for us to prepare well and be able to play in this new event, which will be a very positive thing. Playing in a team is different, but I really like it. [I like] being able to experience everything that happens throughout these days with with teammates I’ve known for many years. Let’s see if we have a little luck and things turn out well.
Bautista Agut: Hopefully we can do something significant this week. The team is ready to play well. Tennis is a very difficult sport, but team tournaments are even more so. That’s why they’re so special.
Nadal: We have to be ready to fight for everything. Our team is complete and if we’re all playing our best, we have a chance to do something significant. We have to work to find our best individual games.
Ramos-Vinolas. I’m very happy to be here, to have the opportunity to play in the ATP Cup with these great players. All of them are great champions. I know that maybe I won’t play many matches, but coming to Perth was a good idea in terms of the opportunity to prepare well for other tournaments. I hope to be able to enjoy the competition from the outside.
Lopez: We all have to be prepared so that if we have the opportunity to compete, we are at 100 per cent and can perform well.
Nadal: At the end of the day, we have to be honest with ourselves. What we have to achieve is for every individual to perform their best. That’s the basic principle of success. Of course, we want the atmosphere to be good, as it almost always has been in recent years. It helps you work with an energy that helps everyone be able to find that extra level we need.
Lopez: The good vibes among the team are fundamental, but Spain has had so much success because of the possible combinations available to us. It’s a blessing and an advantage that few other countries have.
Nadal: You have to keep an eye on the decisions that are made during the competition for doubles, resting... We’re lucky to have Francis here, who has been on the Tour for many years and knows us all very well. That’ll make decisions easier for him, which could be decisive in important moments in terms of our chances for victory.
Roig: It’s an honour to be captain of this team. Each one of them comes here after their pre-season and they are already prepared. As soon as we got to Perth, we tried to get the maximum out of each player. I think the team looks pretty good. I’m confident that we will continue to improve so that we are firing on all cylinders and things go well in the coming days.