ATP Cup 2020: Croatia and Argentina a class above rest in Group E | Match-ups, prediction and more
In a group that has two countries that have won the Davis Cup in the recent past, it is hard to look beyond them for prospect champions. Argentina and Croatia, champions of Davis Cup in 2016 and 2018 respectively will have their eyes set on the bigger prize when they step out for their Group E matches, scheduled at the Ken Rosewell Arena in the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Topping their group and directly qualifying for the knockout stage will be the first step in that direction. And for that, they will have to get the better of not only each other, but also the two other teams in the group - Austria and Poland.
On paper, only Croatia (with Marin Čilić and Borna Ćorić) and Argentina (with Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella) have any sort of bench strength. Austria and Poland have nobody to look at beyond Dominic Thiem and Hubert Hurkacz respectively. And that is where the problem lies for these nations. Even Thiem and Hurkacz are not invincible, especially against the likes of Ćorić and Schwartzman, whom they have lost to on both hard and clay courts.
The superficial seeding notwithstanding, Austrian chances for a direct qualification look bleak. The Polish side to will mostly have settle for an odd win, if at all they manage that somehow. The top spot in the group is for Argentina and Croatia's for the taking. And it will, in all likelihood, come down to the second singles (a probably Čilić-Pella showdown) and the doubles rubber to decide the winner of this one.
Prediction: Croatia to top the group, Argentina a close second.Published 28 Dec 2019, 19:20 IST