© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Team Germany, led by Alexander Zverev [centre], share a joke in Sydney ahead of ATP Cup.

Zverev On ATP Cup: 'It Is A Great Challenge'

No. 2 singles player Struff holds 4-2 record at event

Alexander Zverev ended his 2021 season in style by lifting the Nitto ATP Finals trophy in Turin. The World No. 3 is determined to carry his momentum into the new year, starting at ATP Cup, where he leads Germany in Group C in Sydney.

“We're here as a team, and we're trying to win,” Zverev said in Germany’s pre-tournament press conference. “Last year we made it to the semis, beating two very good teams in Canada and beating the defending champion Serbia. I think everybody has to play their part in this team whether we are on the court or outside the court.”

The 24-year-old, who won six tour-level titles in 2021, was part of the German team which reached the semi-finals at the 16-team event last year.

Zverev will face Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, Taylor Fritz of the United States and Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and is looking forward to beginning the season against three players inside the Top 25 of the ATP Rankings.

“Yeah the matches are difficult,” Zverev said. “I'm playing Cameron Norrie… to start the year off against the World No. 12, it can only be in this event for me. It is a great challenge. I will know exactly where I am at after the first few matches.”

Zverev will be supported in singles action by World No. 51 Jan-Lennard Struff, who is making his third ATP Cup appearance, holding a 4-2 record.

The 31-year-old will be looking to continue his strong form at the tournament, but knows it will be tough, with Group C opponents Daniel Evans, John Isner and Denis Shapovalov all ranked above him.

“If we look at the rankings, everyone is ahead of me,” Struff said. “So it's going to be very difficult. We have a tough group. I always look forward [to] playing for Germany. I like to be with these guys. It's just [an] amazing feeling.

“It's very important because there are just three matches. If you can get the first point, yeah, it's a lot easier for the team. Otherwise, you need to win all the other matches.”

Experienced doubles pair Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz make up Team Germany alongside Yannick Hanfmann, with Michael Kohlmann captaining his country.