With only three months to go until the first qualification deadline, the ATP Cup field is shaping up as countries compete for the coveted 24 spots in the inaugural tournament.
On 13 September, the Top 18 countries will qualify, and two months later, on 13 November, the remaining six countries will book their spots at the team event, to be held 3-12 January in Australia.
But there will be plenty of jostling before the deadlines arrive. Serbia, led by No. 1 Novak Djokovic, is currently leading the provisional standings, with 12,715 points. Russia and Italy, behind Karen Khachanov and Fabio Fognini, respectively, both jumped two spots and cracked the Top 10 of the standings.
Countries need a minimum of three ATP ranked players, including two members with singles ATP Ranking points, to be eligible to qualify. As of the first deadline, countries will qualify based on the singles ATP Ranking of their No. 1 singles player. A country may have up to five players, though. If a team has five players, at least three must have a singles ATP Ranking.
Further down the standings, at No. 18, Belgium is clinging to the first-deadline's final qualification spot. The country, led by David Goffin, has 1,235 points, but Pablo Cuevas-led Uruguay, with 1,028 points, is only 207 points behind. Bulgaria (No. 20, 997 points) and Kazakhstan (No. 21, 955 points) are within striking distance as well.
Watch: Everything You Need To Know About The ATP Cup
The 24-team event will feature US$15 million prize money and a maximum of 750 singles and 250 doubles ATP Rankings points. On-court coaching will be allowed during changeovers and set breaks.
The group stages of the ATP Cup will be hosted across three Australian cities – Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – over six days. Immediately following the group stages will be the four-day knockout stage – quarter-finals over two days, semi-finals and final – all to be played on the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.