Although countries qualified for the inaugural ATP Cup based on the ATP Ranking of their No. 1 singles players, the strength of a team's No. 2 player could prove just as important - perhaps even more important - when it comes to overall success.
Leading the way in team depth is Spain with World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut, a formidable teammate of World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard had the best season of his career in 2019, defeating then-World No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to capturing the Doha title at the start of the season. He never looked back from there, cracking the Top 10 for the first time on 19 August. Spain is the only country with two Top 10 players in the ATP Rankings.
“I’m excited because it’s going to be the first time [having this event] in Australia and Rafa and I are going to play there [together],” Bautista Agut said. “I hope we have a good team and can play a good week for Spain.”
Not far behind in the ATP Rankings is Fabio Fognini, the World No. 12 who reached a career-high No. 9 this year. He was the third Italian to crack the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings, with Matteo Berrettini, the country’s current No. 1 player and Nitto ATP Finals qualifier, becoming the fourth less than five months later.
The third No. 2 player for a country who was inside the Top 10 at one point in 2019 is Russian Karen Khachanov, the 2018 Rolex Paris Masters champion who reached a career-high No. 8 this July. The World No. 17 has won four ATP Tour titles in his career, and he is the No. 2 Russian behind World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, who captured two ATP Masters 1000 trophies this season.