Djokovic, Nadal set to return for 2nd ATP Cup in Australia

The players will arrive in Australia from January 15 and undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine

The duo will be joined by doubles players John Peers and Luke Saville as Australia looks to improve on its semifinal finish at last year's inaugural tournament.

Last year, Djokovic defeated Nadal in a thrilling final of the ATP Cup to help Serbia lift the title. Twelve countries will battle for the prestigious team trophy, with 2020 finalists Serbia and Spain leading the way.

The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three with the winners of each group contesting the knock-outs and the four remaining progressing to the semi-finals.

Instead, Kyrgios will compete at one of the ATP 250 events which will take place alongside the ATP Cup. However, as per the official line up, Kyrgios' name was missing from the Australian ATP Cup team.

Kyrgios, often branded "polarising" for his long rap sheet of indiscretions, had been a galvanising force in raising funds and awareness for Australian bushfire relief efforts during the ATP Cup past year.

ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev headlines a strong Russian team, who reached the semi-finals a year ago, alongside fellow top-10 star Andrey Rublev, while world No. 3 Dominic Thiem will try to take Austria to glory.

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Qualification for the 2021 ATP Cup is based on the ATP Ranking of each country's top-ranked singles player, while Australia qualifies by virtue of a host wildcard.

The inaugural event a year ago featured 24 teams and was played in three Australian cities, with Djokovic's Serbia team beating Nadal and Spain in the final at Sydney's Ken Rosewall Arena.

Each team will consist of four players per country.

The World No.23 Alex De Minaur will lead Australia's ATP Cup team which made the semifinals a year ago. "It was a huge success with both players and fans, and we are excited to present the second edition in Melbourne in 2021", said tournament director Tom Larner. "This is a format that shows off the passion of the players and we're expecting some spectacular tennis action".

The victor from each group was joined by the two best second places in the quarter-finals of the tournament for three knock-out rounds until the champion team was crowned.

The ATP Cup is among three men's warm-up events in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, which has been pushed back by three weeks due to the global health crisis.

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