Greece have Tsitsipas to lean on through the group stage but Serbia will be forced to rely on Dusan Lajovic in the absence of Novak Djokovic.
Casper Ruud is Norway’s No. 1 seed, and he did everything he could to avoid saying Serbia will be weakened by the absence of the best hardcourt player in the world.
“Well, I mean, I was prepared for a very tough match in the beginning of the year to start the year, 1st of January against Novak, is a fun experience,” Ruud said.
“But at the same time it’s tough, because, you know, he’s the best player in the world, and I have played him a couple of times before and lost two times.
“In a way, I was hoping I could get another chance to beat him.
“But their team, I’m not going to say (they’re) easier or weaker, because they have two really good players on the team anyway, but obviously in a way, it’s nice to not start against him.
“If you want to look at the chances of getting a win for the team and for Norway, I would prefer not to play him.”
Before Greece face Poland and Serbia clash with Norway, Spain will begin their campaign without Rafael Nadal and seek to go one better than their 2020 result, when they fell to Serbia in the inaugural ATP Cup final.
Pablo Carreno Busta is one of the best No. 2 seeds in the draw, and knows how critical his role will be in Spain’s push for more team success.
“In this case, I have a lot of responsibility because we know that all of the opponents have a top 10 or similar in No. 1,” he said.
Watch the ATP Cup live on Channel 9, 9Gem and 9NOW, featuring Argentina v Georgia and Chile v Spain from 10am Sat, Serbia v Norway and Greece v Poland from 6.50pm Sat, Russia v Austria and Canada v USA from 10am Sun, Germany v Great Britain and Italy v Australia from 6.50pm Sunday.
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