Pablo & Martin Cuevas Ready To Lead Uruguay In ATP Cup
The 2019 season of Pablo Cuevas, his 15th on the ATP Tour, was special for many reasons.
The 33-year-old Uruguayan found some of his best form again and jumped from No. 90 in the ATP Rankings, his lowest standing since 2014, to No. 45. He finished runner-up in Estoril (l. to Tsitsipas) and also reached the third round at Roland Garros, matching his best Grand Slam result since accomplishing the feat in Paris two years ago.
However, the ATP Cup has been a priority for Cuevas since the beginning of this year. He views the inaugural competition as a significant moment for his career and Uruguayan tennis.
“Since the beginning of the year, I had expectations that we would enter, although I knew there was a lot of time. I was following the [ATP Cup standings] since the middle of the year and was more interested each time,” Cuevas told ATPTour.com during his preseason in Uruguay. “The first cut was with the first 18 teams [the week] after the US Open, but with 24 teams [qualifying], I had an opportunity.”
Uruguay faces off against Spain, Japan and Georgia as part of Group B in Perth. The Spanish team will arrive with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut, while Japan is led by Kei Nishikori and Georgia has a Top 30 player in Nikoloz Basilashvili. But the six-time ATP Tour singles champion has embraced the challenge and is confident his team will be in top form.
“For Uruguay, it is something spectacular,” he said. "We don’t usually face countries with great tennis potential. All the groups are complex and we are getting ready.”
Team Uruguay will unite Pablo with his brother, Martin Cuevas, Franco Roncadelli, Ariel Behar and 17-year-old Juan Martín Fumeaux. Felipe Maccio, who coached Pablo from ages 10 to 17, will serve as team captain. Martin, affectionately known on Tour as “Bebu”, said that representing Uruguay with his brother will be a meaningful moment.
“Sharing a team with Pablo is the best, It’s beautiful to have a player like him on the team. He’s helped me a lot with advice and when we play doubles together,” Martin said. "Since I knew we had a possibility to qualify in June, we followed the standings and he fought to qualify. All of our rivals are tough. We are preparing to arrive in the best way and to win matches.”
Although Pablo is not often in Uruguay, he represents his country with pride each time he steps on the court. The veteran has loved traveling the world throughout his career, but the rare trips back home remain some of his most treasured moments.
“When I go, I enjoy the tranquility of the country and the rhythm of life that takes. I really like the beaches it has and escape there whenever I can go,” he said. “The best thing is family and friends because I don’t have many opportunities to see them, so we have some barbecues and mates when I go. Those things are not negotiable!”