July 1 (Reuters) - The revamped World Team Cup, a men’s tennis event offering $15 million in prize money plus ranking points, will start in early 2020 in Australia, the ATP said on Sunday.
“This event will enable us to kick off our season with a major team event, with minimal impact on existing players schedules at the start of the year,” ATP president Chris Kermode said in a statement.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley hailed the 24-team event as “an exciting new era in men’s tennis”.
“The world’s top players will continue to start their year in Australia in a format that we believe will deeply engage the fans across Australia and throughout the world,” he said.
The competition is likely to be a part of the build-up to the Australian Open, which begins in mid-January.
A smaller World Team Cup was held from 1978 to 2012 in Duesseldorf, Germany. It offered no ranking points and suffered from being on the calendar a week before the French Open.
The new event may cause a headache for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) which runs the Davis Cup and Fed Cup team events in an already crowded calendar.
The ATP said details of the new event would be made public “in due course”. (Reporting by Clare Fallon; Editing by Christian Radnedge)