The inaugural ATP Cup will take place between January 3-12 in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, with 24 teams battling for the title and massive prize money and ATP points. The USA will play in Perth against Russia, Italy and Norway in Group D, seeking the quarter-final spot against strong rivals.
The top-ranked John Isner can't wait to lead his country together with Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram, hoping for a strong run after missing the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. Spending the last ten seasons in the top-20, Isner is eager to make a strong start at the ATP Cup and help the USA as much as possible from the leading singles position.
"It's exciting; the ATP Cup is a brand new event and one that I think a lot of players are excited about and myself in particular. I'm going to have a nice little off-season, spending a lot of my time in Dallas, being able to focus on my family and also on keeping myself in good shape, trying to stay sharp on the tennis side of things as well.
I'm looking forward to that event and I think it's an excellent thing for our sport. The past three, four years I have stumbled in Australia, it takes me a long time to get going and feel good about my game, so I'm very much looking forward to the ATP Cup.
I think we also have a good team on top of that, so it'll be exciting. It's been a while since I have been to Perth, so I'm looking forward to getting over there, it's a lot of fun and it will be a blast. I have always enjoyed playing for a team; I have done it my whole life.
Playing the Laver Cup has been a joy for me and you definitely can get your competitive juices flowing after a pretty long lay-off. It will be pressure-packed on top of that, being out there playing for your country right out of the gate.
I think that will be a perfect thing for me and hopefully, it will bode well for the Australian Open next year. Rajeev Ram and I have known each other forever now, since U14 juniors. I remember seeing his name in the draw; he was always better than me in the juniors and was a pretty big name when it came to junior tennis.
Rajeev had done incredible things on the pro tour, with astonishing consistency as well. He had an excellent singles career and has been doing the same in the doubles; I think he is a massive boon for our team considering how good he is in doubles.
We have texted back and forth and I know he is fired up about playing the ATP Cup. Austin Krajicek is on our team as well, our team is set and we are looking forward to getting over to Australia. Representing the USA is a great honor; it is more important than playing for yourself out there.
That's why I think this event is going to be very successful, with a fantastic competition that should bring a lot of fun, I couldn't think of a better way to start the year."