2022 Davis Cup Group I & II Results
OVER the past week, the 16 World Group nations took to the court in the 2022 Davis Cup Finals to determine which eight countries reached the knockout stages of the tournament. Those countries ended up being Italy, Croatia, Spain, Canada, Germany, Australia, Netherlands and the United States. However for the eight losing nations, they – along with the four losing quarter finalists – will now have to face a World Group Playoff in order to get back into next year’s Davis Cup Finals.
Those Playoffs usually occur in March, 2023, with the matchups finalised after the 2022 event, which concludes in November. However the eight World Group nations are decided, as are the 12 Group I qualifiers who won through to those Playoffs. However the Group I losers also earn a second chance to get back into that Group, by taking on the winners of Group II Playoffs that also took place over the past week. For the losers of Group II, they have to head back for the chance to not drop into their Regional Qualifiers. In this article, we run through the Group I and Group II results.
There were not a huge deal of surprises at the top end, with the top two seeds in Austria and Colombia sweeping their relatively weak opponents in Pakistan and Turkey. Even without top singles player Dominic Thiem, Austria was able to cruise to victory thanks to Jurij Rodionov and Filip Misolic. For Colombia, it was Top 100 player Daniel Elahi Galan, along with rising talent Nicolas Mejia who worked hard to promote the South Americans.
Czech Republic also qualified with Jiri Lehecka and Tomas Machac being the next generation of Czechs coming through the men’s pathway. Arguably the biggest upset of the group on paper was the win by Uzbekistan over fourth seeded Japan, though the lack of having Taro Daniel or Kei Nishikori really hurt the Asian nation. Still, they should have taken care of Uzbekistan who had Sergey Fomin (363rd in the world) as their highest ranked singles player.
In other results, the 45th ranked Switzerland made its way into the playoffs with an important 3-2 nail-biter over the 22nd ranked Ecuador. It was one of only two 3-2 results, with Chile (23rd) defeating Peru (34th). Swiss fourth singles player Alexander Ritschard sealed the result in the fifth match, whilsNicolas Jarry was the hero for Chile. They joined Norway – lead by world number two Casper Ruud – and Portugal who are ranked 32nd and 35th respectively into the next round, with world number 56 Joao Sousa sealing the victory with two singles wins.
From the lower ranked nations, the four ranked 26th through until 29th made it into the playoffs, with Hungary, Slovakia, Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina all winning through in comfortably Group I victories. Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics and Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori were among the top performers with two singles victories each.
The biggest name in the Group II action was Top 10 talent Stefanos Tsitsipas, who rocked up for the 58th ranked Greece. He unsurprisingly had no issues up against lower ranked Tunisians as he guided his country to the Playoffs. The highest ranked nation in action was the 41st ranked Uruguay who suffered a shock loss to 64th ranked China, 2-3. The new era of Chinese males has arrived with Zhizhen Zhang claiming two dominant wins, dropping six games in four sets.
Lebanon – ranked 42nd in the world – was the highest ranked winner, taking down Monaco 3-2 with their opponents down in 62nd. Ricardas Berankis lead Lithuania to a win over Egypt, as the 65th ranked Thailand cause an upset over Bolivia at home. In an interesting matchup, Chinese Taipei defeated Hong Kong 3-1, as Slovenia swept Estonia 4-0. Meanwhile Denmark knocked off El Salvador 3-2 in another tight contest.
Two more 3-2 results occurred in Group II with Ireland and Latvia both winning through to the Playoffs courtesy of wins over Barbados and Dominican Republic respectively. In the less close games, Poland smashed Indonesia 5-0, while Bulgaria claimed a 3-0 victory over South Africa. Both Bulgaria and South Africa have Top 50 players at their best, but neither played them and Bulgaria was able to come away with the win and knock South Africa down to the Regional Qualifiers.