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ATP Cup 2020: Spain the clear favourites in Group B, match-ups, prediction and more

Spain is fresh off a Davis Cup win and will be the clear favourites for the title.
Spain is fresh off a Davis Cup win and will be the clear favourites for the title.
ANALYST
Modified 03 Jan 2020
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It will be much of the same for the Spanish team when they step out in Perth for their Group B matches at the ATP Cup 2020. Having come off of a 6th win in the Davis Cup, the team in gold and red will be looking to assert their dominance as a powerhouse nation in tennis at the newly minted extravaganza. That is not to say that they will not face stiff competition in a group which features other big names like Kei Nishikori and Nikoloz Basilashvili - representing Japan and Georgia respectively, the two veterans of the game will be eager to look for an upset win to advance to the knockout stage.

Pablo Cuevas will lead a relatively inexperienced Uruguayan team in the tournament.
Pablo Cuevas will lead a relatively inexperienced Uruguayan team in the tournament.

Pablo Cuevas, meanwhile, will be looking to inspire some confidence in a relatively novice Uruguayan side. The 33-year old seasoned campaigner, known for his splendid one-handed backhand and clay court exploits can however, surprise even the best in the world on his given day. And in a format that only features 3 matches (2 singles and a doubles) that might just be the one thing that sways the tie either way.

Kei Nishikori is the highest ranked player for the Japanese side.
Kei Nishikori is the highest ranked player for the Japanese side.

On paper though, Japan remains to be the only real threat for Spain with Nishikori being the key. If he were to muster a win over a very solid-looking Rafael Nadal, the Japanese bench would take confidence from a couple of good youngsters capable of playing very good doubles matches. That remains a long shot nonetheless considering Spain's own prowess over the doubles category with the likes of Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez.

What could spin into an interesting battle is the fight for the second spot in the group with Japan, Georgia, and Uruguay looking every bit capable of upsetting the other to take up that all important spot. It is pertinent to note that aside from the six group winners, the two next best teams will also qualify for the knockout stage based on overall performance. The three remaining teams will be eagerly vying for that spot.

Prediction: Spain to top the group, Uruguay or Japan a distant second.

Published 27 Dec 2019, 22:04 IST
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