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Davis Cup: half of the top 10 to play, including Djokovic and Medvedev
The new Davis Cup format, which starts this week (November 25 – December 5), has attracted a lot of criticism, but it will still feature half of the top 10 players, including the world’s two best players
For many tennis fans outraged by the new format of the Davis Cup – which has completely changed its format in 2019 after it was taken over by the Kosmos group owned by footballer Gerard Piqué – the 2021 season of the ATP circuit came to an end on Sunday after the Nitto ATP Finals, won by Alexander Zverev over Daniil Medvedev.
Nevertheless, the famous old tennis competition will still have a strong field in the three cities (Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck) where the group stages of the World Group will be played, starting on Thursday.
In total, according to the list of players selected, half of the men’s top 10 will be in the competition, including the two best players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, who will lead their respective nations in Group F (with Germany and Austria) in Innsbruck, for the Serb, and in Group A (with Spain and Ecuador) in Madrid, for the Russian. He will be supported by Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev – a strong team.
This Group A will also be the occasion of a big clash between the Russians and the host nation, Spain, which will present one player in the top 20 (Pablo Carreno Busta), as well as the rising star Carlos Alcaraz – but no Rafael Nadal or Roberto Bautista Agut, who are both out with injuries.
Italy will be able to count on its new top 10 player, Jannik Sinner, but not Matteo Berrettini, who is also out of the tournament after injuring his abdomen during the ATP Finals in Turin. The Italians are all still there in the host city, ready to face Colombia and the United States in Group E, who have both Reilly Opelka and Frances Tiafoe in their team.
Eight Top 20 players to feature
The final top-10 player in the competition is Casper Ruud, but he will be in a play-off match against Ukraine in Oslo on 26-27 November.
Other notable players in the elite field are Croatia’s Marin Cilic (Group D in Turin), Australia’s Alex de Minaur (Group D in Turin) and Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik (Group B in Madrid).
Cameron Norrie heads the Great Britain team as they go to Innsbruck for their Group C clashes. He will be joined by Dan Evans, Joe Salisbury, Neal Skupski and Liam Broady, with neither Murray brother featuring.
The competition details
Unlike the historical formula, which was played on a country-by-country basis, with ties scheduled throughout the season, the new Davis Cup formula is now concentrated over 11 days. It features 18 teams in six pools of three. Each group winner and the two best runners-up will meet in a final phase from the quarter-finals onwards in Madrid. All matches will be played in two singles and one doubles, in two winning sets.
The new Davis Cup format was won in 2019 by Spain. It was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 health situation.
- Group A: Spain, Russia, Ecuador
- Group B: Canada, Sweden, Kazakhstan
- Group C: France, Czech Republic, Great Britain
- Group F: Serbia, Austria, Germany
- Group D: Croatia, Australia, Hungary
- Group E: USA, Italy, Colombia
The group matches will be played November 25-28. The quarter-finals will be played between November 29 and December 2, the semi-finals on December 3 and 4 and the final on December 5 in Madrid.