LONDON, November 15, 2019 (ATP Cup Press Release)
Former world No.1s Boris Becker, Marat Safin and Thomas Muster will lead their countries as captains at the ATP Cup from 3 to 12 January 2020.
Becker, captain of the German side, is a six-time major winner and dominated tennis from the time he first won Wimbledon in 1985 at the age of 17 until 1991, when he reached the top ranking and won a second Australian Open.
The high-profile Becker will head to Brisbane, with a team including top German and world No.7 Alexander Zverev. Also competing in Group F are Greece, Canada and Australia.
“I’m delighted to captain the German side in this exciting new event,” Becker said. “We have a strong chance in an extremely competitive section of the draw.”
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Crowd favourite Safin, winner of the 2000 US Open and centenary Australian Open in 2005, will captain a formidable Russian team spearheaded by two of the fastest rising players in tennis, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov.
The ebullient Safin, who entered politics after he retired from tennis in 2009, was the first Russian inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
“I am very much looking forward to the ATP Cup and being part of a team again,” Safin said.
“We have a real chance of winning the first Cup with the calibre of players we have in the Russian side and I will be doing everything I can to make that happen from the bench.”
Russia is drawn to play against Italy, USA and Norway in Group D, who will play their group stage matches in Perth.
Muster rounds out the trio, leading Austria in Group E, bound for Sydney against Croatia, Argentina and Poland in the 24-country ATP Cup.
Known as the King of Clay in his heyday, Muster rose to world No.1 in 1996 after winning his first and only major at Roland Garros the previous year. A tireless competitor, Muster won a total of 44 career singles titles.
“The ATP Cup brings some old rivals together as captains,” said Muster, who returned to competitive tennis aged 42 in 2010 and played one of his last matches as a pro against the now leading Austrian player, Dominic Thiem.
“Austria has a proud record in tennis and I am thrilled to be chosen as captain for the ATP Cup in January.
“The cream of tennis is competing across Australia and the player field is incredibly strong, I feel very excited to be part of it all.”
For 10 days leading into Australian Open 2020, 24 countries will battle it out across three cities – Brisbane, Perth and Sydney – before eight surviving teams advance to the Final Eight in Sydney.
Players who have committed to the ATP Cup include nine of the world’s Top 10 players and 26 of the Top 30.