AFTER previewing each of the 18 Davis Cup Finals nations, Rookie Me Central will now preview each of the six groups to determine how the early stages of the tournament might go. We begin taking a look at Group A, with two title contenders featuring alongside the rank underdog for the tournament.
Group A has two nations that could go all the way, which is why the November 28 clash between Spain and Russia is so crucial. Whilst Ecuador holds little hope of winning a match, let alone a tie, the two stacked nations will provide a classic contest. Spain is the reigning champion, and even without star Rafael Nadal, still has a team that could do a lot of damage. Bautista Agut and Carreno Busta are both consistent Top 20 players who can surprise on their day if the opponent is down on form, whilst Alcaraz is the danger man who could do just about anything. From a doubles perspective, Lopez and especially Granollers could be a crucial combination, more favoured than the others.
Russia has fully stacked its line-up with its mind focused on the prize. World number two and US Open winner Medvedev leads a side with the quartet of Top 30 Russians who have been revelations in the last couple of years. Whilst Khachanov has slid a little, Karatsev has had a 2021 to remember after an Australian Open semi-final, whilst Rublev went from very good to great with his outstanding form at ATP 500 and above level in the past 12 months. Donskoy is the only pure doubles player similar to Granollers, which makes it even with Spain, but should provide an even contest.
Ecuador is not punching in even close to the same weight division as these two heavyweights. The 148th ranked Gomez and 290th ranked Quiroz will be taking on players who are Grand Slam title standard. Couple with Escobar (39th) being the only real doubles talent of note, and it is unlikely the South American nation will cause too many headaches for the opposition. As the lowest ranked nation at the event, it is hoped March might get a gig, with the 21-year-old talent one for the future.
2nd Spain (additional qualifier)