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 continue by taking a look at Group C, featuring a traditionally-strong nation going through a rebuild, and an inform nation at its peak.
World number ones France will be hoping to hold onto that status at the conclusion of the Davis Cup Finals, but will be up against it considering it enters the event as arguable underdogs. Whilst the traditionally-strong nation should take care of Czech Republic, it will be a tough ask against Great Britain, but never impossible. After deserving a place in the national team for some time, French young gun Humbert finally cracks in, joined by Rinderknech as the next generation of players. Whilst Gasquet is there to provide some support and experience, they have replaced the old guard which features Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Benoit Paire and Adrian Mannarino. Arguably the French captain could have gone one better and brought in 21-year-old Hugo Gaston over Gasquet, but two debutants is enough.
Great Britain has always had someone thereabouts at the top of the ATP Rankings, but as it stands, two players who have been late bloomers are in the form of their lives. The 26-year-old Norrie is up to 12th in the world, something unconceivable 12 months ago, whilst perhaps the more remarkable story is 31-year-old Evans who is now in at 26th. He was a player who bounced around the Top 50 without making inroads, but has certainly done so in 2021. Paired with a doubles combination of Skupski and Salisbury, the British have a really reliable combination, with no room for error. The quartet will play the same role each match, with no need to rotate, opting not to include a fifth member with the likes of Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund among those who have represented the nation before.
Both France and Great Britain should have no worries against Czech Republic, whose highest ranked player in the 84th ranked Vesely. The 28-year-old will lead a young outfit as a whole, with only 36-year-old veteran Rosol over 25. The future of the Czech Republic is Machac and Lehecka, aged 21 and 20 respectively, whilst Kolar is still only 25. Regardless, all bar Vesely are outside the Top 130 players in the world, so it will be a tough ask to win a match let alone a tie, so the Czechs seem to be the easy one to pick for their place in this group.
1st Great Britain
2nd France (additional qualifier)
3rd Czech Republic