Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic at centre of $22m Aussie tennis drama

World No.1 Rafael Nadal has landed in Australia with a mission, but equalling Roger Federer's grand slam record isn't at the forefront of his thinking just yet.

Nadal posed for pictures with fans after touching down at Perth Airport early on Monday.

The 33-year-old has the chance to equal Federer's 20 grand slam singles titles when he competes at the Australian Open in Melbourne next month.

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But he isn't thinking that far ahead.

His first goal is to acclimatise to Australian conditions to give reigning Davis Cup champions and pre-tournament favourites Spain the best shot possible of winning the inaugural 24-nation ATP Cup.

"Hopefully we arrive in good shape. We have five days to practice well before the competition," Nadal said.

"We are looking forward to play good here in the ATP Cup and then we are going to have one week in Melbourne before the (Open) to start to prepare.

"We are excited to be here and to compete well at this great event."

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will take centre stage at the ATP Cup. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Federer is widely considered the greatest player of all time but Nadal has also featured in the GOAT conversation and his case will strengthen if he pulls off victory in Melbourne.

Before that, he is keen to spearhead his country to victory at the $22 million ATP Cup, where Spain have been placed in Group B alongside Japan, Georgia and Uruguay.

Their campaign begins on Saturday when they take on Georgia at Perth's RAC Arena.

The highlight of the group stage in Perth was meant to be Nadal's battle against world No.13 Kei Nishikori but with the Japanese star battling to overcome an elbow injury, the match-up may not eventuate.

Nadal never competed at the now-defunct Hopman Cup and is looking forward to seeing Perth for the first time.

"I have been to Brisbane a couple of times (as a warm-up to the Australian Open). This time Perth. I am excited to know a different place," he said.

Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal to win the 2019 Australian Open. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Djokovic to continue Aussie 'love affair'

World No.2 Novak Djokovic is a clear favourite to win a record eighth Australian Open, but first he'll wear Serbian colours in the inaugural ATP Cup from January 3.

Serbia will meet France, Chile and South Africa in their pool while Australia, Canada, Greece and Germany will also feature in Brisbane before a finals series in Sydney.

Djokovic arrived in Brisbane on Monday morning happy to talk up the new concept in a country that's proved to be a happy hunting ground.

"I love it. I've had an amazing 10 years in Australia going back to the first grand slam I won in Melbourne in 2008," he said.

"And ever since then it's been a love affair.

"I think it's great for our sport that we have an innovation introduced in a country that loves tennis."

The French team will be led by world No.10 Gael Monfils, while South African Kevin Anderson was as high as No.5 in the world earlier this year.

"It has an element of individual tournament but it's combined with a team concept and I love wearing the colours of our country and hopefully we can have good support and have a lot of fun," Djokovic said.

Nadal will spearhead Spain in Perth against Japan, Georgia and Uruguay while Nick Kyrgios and Alex De Minaur will play for Australia in Brisbane.

Teams will play just two singles and one doubles rubber in each tie.

ATP Cup organisers accept Federer absence

Organisers of the inaugural ATP Cup say they accept Federer's decision to skip the tournament, noting his immense contribution to Australian and world tennis over the past two decades.

The 38 -year-old Swiss star is the only one of the top seven world ranked players who won't be competing in the 10-day tournament.

"He's made the decision to spend some time with his family and he's obviously a lot more conscious of how much he's playing. I think for everything Roger has given to the sport we're accepting of that," ATP Cup tournament director Tom Larner told AAP.