2021 Davis Cup Finals nation preview: Colombia
IN November, the 2021 Davis Cup takes place across three cities in Europe as 18 teams aim to lift the ultimate international men’s team prize. Six groups of three sees the group winner automatically advancing to the knockout quarter finals, with the two next best nations also moving through. In the lead-up to the event, Rookie Me Central will be previewing each of the nations in reverse world ranking order.
Captain: Alejandro Falla
vs. Italy | November 27
vs. USA | November 28
Similarly to our preview on Ecuador, it is hard to see Colombia making any serious dents against the sides they face in a strong group. The South American nation are ranked 19th in the world and face world number five United States, and the world number nine Italy, in what is a group of death for the lowly ranked nation. The Italians could win the entire thing, and the United States have great depth, but there is one thing that the Colombians have over every other nation – the world’s best doubles players.
In such a condensed format, it means that former world number ones Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah are more likely than not to take out that match in each tie. Whilst they have drifted to just outside the Top 10 over the past few months, they are still among the best in the world, and far stronger than their opponents. The United States have brought in 37-year-old and world number four Rajeev Ram especially to counter this, whilst Italy’s group of likely Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Sonego are ranked just outside the Top 100 in doubles.
Regardless even if Colombia win the doubles tie, they still have to find a way to win the singles, and that will be incredibly difficult. The Italians have gone full-strength so world number seven Matteo Berrettini and world number 11 Jannik Sinner will not drop a singles match in the tie you would think. Colombia’s great hope is the 106th ranked Daniel Elahi Galan, who will need to cause an upset against a Top 15 opponent from Italy, and Reilly Opelka or Taylor Fritz from the United States. Nicolas Mejia is a 21-year-old ranked 274th in the world, but played 50 tournaments this year without a great deal of movement.
Prediction: 3rd in Group E
IN A SENTENCE: “Expect Colombia to finish last in the group, though they should win the doubles tie each game, and it would be incredibly exciting if Galan could upset Opelka or Fritz in their clash with the United States.”
Picture credit: ATP Tour