by IANS |
Sydney, Dec 29 (IANS) World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev hit the practice courts here as the countdown to the multi-nation ATP Cup -- the first tournament in the New Year -- began, with the 25-year-old Russian keen to help his country defend the trophy.
The 2021 US Open champion, who is spearheading Russia's title defence, had a session with Australia's Alex de Minaur whom he will meet next week in group play. The 2020 ATP Finals champion returned again mid-afternoon on Tuesday for another session with 20-year-old Australian Rinky Hijikata, who is ranked 375th on the ATP.
Medvedev, who led the ATP Tour with 63 match wins last season, is expected to challenge Serbian Novak Djokovic's stranglehold on world No. 1 in the ATP rankings during the 2022 season and will be keen to start the year strong in Sydney.
The 25-year-old boasts an 8-1 record at the ATP Cup and last year dropped just one set in his four victories, which included three top-10 wins over Germany's Alexander Zverev, Argentina's Diego Schwartzman and Italy's Matteo Berrettini.
Other top-10 players competing in the tournament include Jannik Sinner of Italy and world No. 8 Casper Ruud of Norway.
The 2022 ATP Cup will feature a 16-team field in four groups and be hosted across two venues in Sydney -- Ken Rosewall Arena and the Qudos Bank Arena -- both at theSydney Olympic Park. The four group winners will contest the knockout stage -- to be played at Ken Rosewall Arena -- from January 7.