EIGHT teams remain in the 2023 Davis Cup hunt following the group stage of the Finals that occurred over the weekend. Following the qualification from that, the eight sides who made it through – the top two from each pool – now know their respective roads to the ultimate nation glory.
World numbers ones Canada – who were minus both Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic at the most recent event – crushed its opponents to finish top of Pool A and secure a prominent position in the knockout stage. Denis Shapovalov will hope to lead the North Americans to victory in what is clearly the easiest half of the draw.
Up first the top ranked nation and reigning champions face Finland, the lowest ranked qualifier at 21st, that was not even expected to pick up a win, let alone survive the group stage. But the European country did just that, as Emil Ruusuvuori and Otto Virtanen shocked the world with some outstanding tennis.
Australia also stamped its ticket into the second round, finishing second in its group, but also gained a boost by landing the weakest group topper in Czech Republic. Missing Nick Kyrgios, Australia will likely rely on Alex de Minaur and Max Purcell to get past the rising duo of Jiri Lehecka and Tomas Machac. Czech Republic was also the only nation to not drop a match in the group stage.
On the other side of the draw, Italy takes on Netherlands in what should be an intriguing clash. The Italians survived the group stage despite being understrength. Though the Italians went down against Canada, they were too strong for weaker nations, Sweden and Chile. If Lorenzo Musetti and Lorenzo Sonego can be potentially upgraded to Jannik Sinner at the knockout stages, then it is game on.
Netherlands has a really underrated combination between Botic Van de Zandschulp and Tallon Griekspoor with Tim van Rijthoven waiting in the wings. Throw in a consistent doubles pairing and the Dutch are a sneaky chance for the title, finishing top of their Pool D.
Finishing second in Pool B, Great Britain is stacked with talent across the board, and is still nursing an out-of-form Cameron Norrie. If he can find his best ahead of the knockout stages, then there is certainly depth there with Daniel Evans, Jack Draper and Andy Murray all options.
The British tackle Novak Djokovic‘s Serbia in the quarterfinals. Djokovic only played the one group match coming off his US Open title, and he has plenty of support in the nation, with Laslo Djere and Dusan Lajovic both capable players.
FINAL 8 DRAW – MALAGA 2023
Canada vs. Finland
Czech Republic vs. Australia
Italy vs. Netherlands
Serbia vs. Great Britain