Davis Cup 2019 Finals, Day 2: Schedule, Venue and everything you need to know
After a brilliant start to the multi-nations face-off in tennis, the Davis Cup Finals has an exciting line-up prepared for Day 2. This is the 108th edition of the Davis Cup and it now shows off a brand new look under the guidance of footballer Gerard Pique.
Presented in a completely new format, the Davis Cup is no longer the event where the matches are spread out over the calendar year. Instead, the new format has one whole week of tennis action where 18 qualifying nations are pitched against each other, in various groups, intending to fight till a winning nation is crowned on Sunday.
Here's a look at the ties that will take place on Day 2:
Team Spain v Team Russia
This revamped Davis Cup opened at Caja Magica Stadium, in Spain yesterday with defending champions Croatia taking to the court against Russia. With Andy Rublev and Karen Khachanov in tow, Russia was in destructive mood and took down Croatia to set up a date with the formidable Team Spain.
Leading the charge for Team Spain will be World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Spain leads Russia 4-2 in their head-to-head ties at the Davis Cup. Spain, with Nadal as their primary candidate, is inevitably a formidable opponent and Russia will have a lot of trouble staying at the top of the Group B rankings. To give company to the 19-time Grand Slam champion, there is also Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, Felicano Lopez and Marcel Granollers.
Team France v Team Japan
In the other tie of the day, Team France will clash with Team Japan. In this case, France has always dealt a crushing blow to the Japanese team and therefore leads their head-to-head encounters at 4-0.
Japan is moreover at a very vulnerable position without their top player, Kei Nishikori who is missing from the scene due to an elbow injury. The nations’ first two encounters came in 1926-27 where France earned a 3-2 victory in Forest Hills in 1926 and a 3-0 victory in Boston the very next year.
After that, there were two more clashes with France also winning those two meetings – in Paris in 1981 followed by a 2017 face-off in Tokyo. The French team has seasoned players to boast of and is therefore a strong force, having finished as the runners-up to Croatia in 2018.
There is Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire and of course, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who will lead the charge for France. The Japanese side is slightly weak but they do have Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama along with Yuichi Sugiata and Taro Daniel to bank upon. On the doubles front, they have the experienced Ben McLachlan to rely upon.
Team USA v Team Canada
In another tie of the day, Team USA and Team Canada will lock horns for the 16th time in Davis Cup matches. Their last meeting came ages back in 1965 but Team USA has not lost more than three matches in their ties with Canada so far, which in itself is a remarkable feat.
Team USA has a staggering lead of 15-0 over Canada but times have surely changed and it will be very unfair to disregard the chances of Canada this time around. Team USA is a most familiar presence at the Davis Cup considering how they already have 32 titles in their cabinet to boast of.
Both teams currently have young guns in their possession and Canada's Denis Shapovalov will hope to make an impact against the young blood from America in Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka.
Team Kazakhstan v Team Netherlands
In another tie, it will be Kazakhstan and Netherlands who will be meeting each other in Davis Cup for the very first time. Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin will be responsible for leading the way in singles for Kazakhstan, with 22-year-old Bublik being the top player from his nation at No. 57 in the world.
Team Netherlands will look to seasoned player Robin Haase for inspiration. The formerly ranked World No. 33 player will have Tallon Griekspoor to rely upon in singles. On the doubles front, Team Netherlands will have Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer to forward their position in the group.
Team Australia v Team Colombia
In the final tie for the day, Team Australia will gear up to meet Team Colombia for the first time on Davis Cup turf. Colombia delivered an impressive performance on Day 1 even in their 2-1 defeat to Belgium and will desperately hope to maintain that flair as they take on a strong team from Australia.
With 28 titles to their aid, Team Australia is going to be led by former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt as the captain. In his squad will be Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur and John Millman to shoulder the singles responsibility. It remains to be seen if Daniel Elahi Galan and top doubles duo of Robert Farah and Juan-Sebastian Cabal can be the saving grace for Colombia.
Here are all the details you need to know about
Tournament: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals
Date: 18 November - 24 November 2019
Number of teams: 18 (World Group)
Participants: ITF member nations
Group A- France, Serbia, Japan
Group B- Croatia, Spain, Russia
Group C- Argentina, Germany, Chile
Group D- Belgium, Australia, Colombia
Group E- Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Netherlands
Group F- United States of America, Italy, Canada
Location: Madrid, Spain
Venue: La Caja Magica Stadium or The Magic Box Stadium
Surface: Indoor hardcourtModified 21 Dec 2019, 01:05 IST