Pablo Cuevas, World No. 45, will lead the uruguayan team during the inaugural ATP Cup, held from January 3 to 12 in Australia. During the first phase of the competition, during which the twenty-four teams (divided into six groups) will battle for the eight places in the final draw, Uruguay will face Spain, Japan, and Georgia in Perth.
The Uruguayan Tennis Association (AUT) organized a press conference this Tuesday, in Montevideo, officially presenting its whole team for the upcoming event. Brothers Pablo and Martin Cuevas, along with the doubles specialist Ariel Behar and the young Franco Roncadelli and Juan Martin Fumeaux, will be captained by Felipe Maccio.
Facing Spain, whose team has recently won the Davis Cup Finals, will be a hard feat for Uruguay. "It would practically be miraculous to win that meeting," Cuevas said during the conference. As first racquet of the blue-and-white team, the soon-to-be 34-year-old will face the ATP ranking’s current ruler Rafael Nadal; a confrontation for which Cuevas recognized he would have to be "focused."
"But, as I say, it is a series in which we are at the losing end and each point should be almost miraculous to win," he insisted. After the groups were drafted on November 14th, Cuevas has come to the conclusion that Uruguay will play "an even series" with Georgia, and that "Japan is the rival to defeat" if the South American team wants to have options to move to the next round of the competition.
In order to step into the final draw, Uruguay will have to either pass as first team in its group, or hope to be one of the two second-ranked. Group A includes Serbia, France, South Africa and Chile; the C, Belgium, Great Britain, Bulgaria and Moldova; the D, Russia, Italy, the United States and Norway; the E, Austria, Croatia, Argentina and Poland; and the F, Germany, Greece, Canada and Australia.