Tennis | A Look at the ATP Cup & Australian Open
The 2021 Australian Open will start at the beginning of February and tennis fans across the world are curious to see how the first Grand Slam of 2021 will be, especially since it will be a tournament where players will need to make small sacrifices due to the pandemic.
For example, for the duration of the tournament, players will not be allowed to go outside their social bubble and will have to isolate on arrival in the country. This could affect a player’s mentally and could have an effect on how they perform. It will be fascinating to find out.
Not the First Tournament of the Year Though
However, the Australian Open is not the first tennis event of the year as the ATP Cup is going to be held before it from the 1st to the 5th of February. This competition marks the start of the tennis season in Australia, and most the top-ranked male tennis players will be competing in it. We will get to watch the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils in action.
The tournament is made up of twelve teams that are divided into four groups. Everyone will play everyone in their group and each tie will be made up of two single and one doubles match. The country that manages to win two matches will win the points and the four teams that are at the top of their group come the end of the group stage will qualify for the semi-finals.
The prize money for this year’s ATP Cup stands at $7.5 million. The total prize money given to the winning players is made up of three components that include prize money for wins in individual matches, prize money for victories in ties, and a participation fee.
Djokovic’s Serbia will be defending the title that they won in 2020, but they will not have it easy against teams such as Nadal’s Spain, while the likes of Russia and Canada will not be a complete walk in the park. Who they will be playing in the group stage is not yet known as the draw will be made at a later date.
An Opportunity for Tennis Bettors
Not only can the players win substantial amounts of money, but you can win a tidy sum yourself by betting on the matches. The tennis will be entertaining to watch by itself, but you can add to the excitement levels by betting on the action.
Obviously, before you can start to bet, you need to have a look at the tennis betting sites. Due to how many great bookies there are nowadays, it can be tricky to decide which one to sign up with – we have had that issue ourselves. Thankfully, if you follow the previous link, you will find an odds comparisons site that will help you find the best sites for betting on tennis. Their experts have put in all of the hard work, so we do not have to.
An Attempt to Retain the Australian Open and a Beautiful Donation
After Djokovic has tried to help his country retain the ATP Cup, he will then concentrate on trying to retain the Australian Open title that he won in 2020. Djokovic is favourite to win the title again, but he will have stiff competition from the likes of Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Daniil Medvedev. He will not have to contend with Roger Federer at any point as the former world number one decided to sit out of this competition.
Over the last year, Djokovic has donated millions of dollars to help the Covid-19 fight in Serbia. This money has been used to purchase state-of-the-art machinery that can save lives during the pandemic and then be put to good use when Covid-19 is out of the way. There is no doubt that his act of kindness will go on to save many lives.
Can He Claim to Be the Best Tennis Player?
For many years now, Djokovic has sat at the top of the tree in men’s tennis. He used to play second fiddle to the likes of Federer and Nadal, but halfway through the last century he managed to overtake them and is now closing in on the duo with an impressive 17 Grand Slams already claimed. If he goes on to reclaim the Australian Open, he will be just the two Grand Slams behind both Federer and Nadal who have 20 Grand Slam titles each.
However, there are plenty of critics and tennis fans out there that feel that Djokovic still cannot claim to be the best tennis player the world has ever seen. Adriano Panatta, who won the Roland Garros in 1976, is one of these. In his opinion, Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever. For him, stats should not be used a decisive factor. Even if Djokovic goes on to win more Grand Slams than Nadal or Federer, he will still be behind them in Panatta’s opinion.
He believes that fans of the sport feel the same way. For him, he feels that fans believe that Federer is the best player to ever grace the game and Nadal is not far away. While he firmly agrees that Djokovic is a fantastic player, he feels that his actions off the court, such as when he hosted an exhibition tournament in the Balkans with little social distancing involved and contracted Covid-19, have harmed his image off the pitch and have many questioned whether he is a good role model for young tennis fans, despite the fact that he has donated millions to help Covid patients. However, knowing the attitude that he has, he we be desperate to get out there and prove all his critics wrong.
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