SYDNEY, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The world's top tennis players will again battle it out for their country in this year's ATP Cup, held in Melbourne prior to the 2021 Australian Open.
The 12 countries set to compete were divided into four groups on Friday, with the top country from each progressing to the knockout stages.
Reigning champions Serbia, led by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will face Germany and Canada in Group A.
Last year's runners-up Spain, headed by World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, will join home-side Australia and Greece in Group B.
World No. 3 Dominic Thiem will lead Austria against Italy and France in Group C.
While fourth-seeded team Russia, headlined by Daniil Medvedev, will tackle Argentina and Japan in Group D.
Eleven countries qualified for the ATP Cup based on the ranking of their number one player, with Australia receiving a wild card entry as host country. Each of the top-four ranked countries were placed in a separate group, with the others selected at random.
Teams are allowed a maximum of four players and minimum of three, continuing a format which proved hugely successful among both players and fans at last year's inaugural event.
Former World No. 1 and renowned tennis commentator Jim Courier said that the first ever ATP Cup in 2020 made a surprise splash in the world of tennis and that fans could look forward to more world-class match-ups to kick off a highly-anticipated year of tennis.
"It's a condensed field this year and there's so many great match-ups, everyone's going to have to be on their toes," Courier said.
"One thing we know for sure there's going to be a lot of energy, a lot of passion because players are playing for a team and for their nations. It's going to be an awesome way to kick off the Aussie summer down here."
The ATP Cup will take place from February to 1-5, followed by the Australian Open beginning on February 8. Enditem