ATP Cup Day 1 Notes
The ATP Cup makes me feel a little uncomfortable. What principally draws me to tennis is the element of one to one competition, of players having to figure a match out, dig deep inside themselves. For me, Davis Cup put the team in tennis and those rare and often gripping ties were enough for me. Now we have three compact team tennis events a year, the ATP Cup taking up where the revamped and pretty successful Davis Cup left off, that event coming hot on the heels of the Laver Cup, the darling of the tennis tour.
Three weeks a year of ‘team tennis’ is not really enough to get that grouchy about, but I was still set to ignore the ATP Cup this season. One problem, though- I’ve missed the tennis circuit and live tennis- I’ve watched a fair few replays the last couple of weeks- and it’s the ATP Cup or the ATP Cup right now, so the ATP Cup it had to be.
I’m glad I did, too. Here’s why.
- Marat Safin is back on court. Well, he’s on the sidelines, which doesn’t suit him at all, but he’s there, looking sharp and like he never left.
- I would never have seen players such as Alexander Cozbinov and Michail Pervolorakis. These players are ranked 818 and 487 respectively and it was great to be reminded how deep the tour is, how good these guys are and what a lot of luck is involved in making it as a top 200 player when the margins are so fine. I can only imagine how good it felt for them to be playing at such great venues against higher ranked players with their countrymen looking on.
- The sight of Boris Becker looking like he regretted a lot of life decisions sitting next to a pouting Sascha Zverev was, for me, one of the most beguiling scenes I could have asked to see in tennis.
- Alex de Minaur’s comeback from a set down and 2-4 and breakpoints down versus Zverev was a great start to my tennis viewing year. de Minaur is simply inspiring. Every shot he hits is with such purpose and clarity, a stark contrast to Zverev who has so many strengths but no idea how to put them together.
- Nick Kyrgios’s push ups when Zverev double faulted.
- Shapovolov’s performance versus Tsitsipas. Denis is not as complete as Stefanos, but he has some wonderful shot-making and is very confident right now. Exciting stuff.
Six reasons to watch a day of tennis is pretty good. I’ll be tuning in tomorrow, too, despite myself and because if the ATP are going to deliver the goods here, a tennis starved fan would be foolish not to gobble them up.
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