Swiss King Roger Federer has pulled out of the inaugural ATP Cup, citing family reasons.
The ATP Cup, which has replaced Perth’s Hopman Cup, will have different stages of the competition hosted across Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney. The group stages will stretch across six days, and the ATP Cup finals will be played in Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.
According to the tournament’s rules, 24 countries are divided into six groups of four for the group stage, round-robin play. The six winners of each group and the two best second-placed entries will become the final eight teams to compete in the finals.
Federer was supposed to lead Team Switzerland in the Sydney league but unfortunately, because of Fed’s absence, Team Switzerland’s been completely binned from the tournament.
An additional six countries will now qualify at the second entry deadline. pic.twitter.com/eU88fsHYFj
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) October 30, 2019
“It is with great regret that I am withdrawing from the inaugural ATP Cup event,” Federer said in a statement.
“When I entered the event last month, it was a really difficult decision because it meant less time at home with the family and a fully intense start to the season.
“After much discussion with both my family and my team about the year ahead, I have decided that the extra two weeks at home will be beneficial for both my family and my tennis.
I mean, fair enough. The bloke deserves to rest and spend time with his kids. He did just win his 10th Basel ATP title. Tenth.
Obviously, punters are a bit devo… and pissed that they already bought tickets to the event specifically to see Federer play (suss the Twitter thread above if you’re keen). The tournament’s Twitter has copped a handful of comments about refunds, which the ATP Cup has referred to Ticketmaster. Some fans are hoping for an official statement, re: full refunds from the ATP. Others are just mad as hell, especially since it appears tickets to Team Switzerland’s matches were far more expensive than others. And now Team Swiss isn’t even competing.
But minus Federer, the lineup is still looking spectacular with world number one Novak Djokovic expected to lead Team Serbia in Brisbane’s Pat Rafter Arena, and world number two Rafael Nadal will compete in Perth. Then there’s also Dominic Thiem (Team Austria), Alexander Zverev (Germany), Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Greece), Kei Nishikori (Team Japan), Fabio Fognini (Team Italy), Gael Monfils (Team France), and Andy Murray (Team Great Britain), who’s on a ripper comeback after almost retiring from the sport due to injury at the Australian Open earlier this year.
The ATP Cup begins January 3, 2020 and will wrap up on the 12th. Then the Australian Open begins January 20 in Melbourne.
Read more about the ATP Cup right here.