The 110th edition of the Davis Cup commences this month with the qualifiers taking place on 4 and 5 March.
24 teams are taking part in the qualifiers with 12 reaching the Finals. Reigning champions Russia and runners-up are through to the finals along with Great Britain and Serbia, who received wildcards. However, Russia has been banned from ITF events and the participation of Russian and Belarussian players remains unclear.
Last year saw 18 teams competing in the finals. After the group stages, eight teams reached the quarters of the tournament.
Russia sealed their place in the semifinals after beating Sweden 2-0 with Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev winning their matches. Germany, meanwhile, beat Great Britain 2-1. Dan Evans gave Britain the lead after beating Peter Gojowczyk before Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Cameron Norrie to level the tie. However, the Germans prevailed after Kim Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski in the doubles rubber.
Novak Djokovic inspired Serbia into the semifinals of the competition as he was instrumental in them beating Kazakhstan 2-1. However, the Serbs lost to Croatia, who beat Italy 2-1.
Russia and Croatia sealed their place in the final after beating Germany and Serbia respectively.
Rublev and Medvedev beat Borna Coric and Marin Cilic respectively to seal Russia's third Davis Cup win.
This year's qualifiers also have 24 teams participating. These include the likes of Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, the United States and Australia, among others.
Most top players are not competing in the qualifiers with the Indian Wells Masters just a few days away. However, there are some very good players who will be representing their countries at the team event, including Jannik Sinner, Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz.
So without any further ado, let's take a look at five players to watch out for in the Davis Cup qualifiers.
#5. Taylor Fritz
The American has not won any titles this year but has produced some very promising performances. Fritz started the year by winning two out of three singles matches at the ATP Cup, including a win over Felix Auger-Aliassime.
He reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets. Fritz also reached a career-high ranking of 16th last month.
The American has a decent record on hardcourts, winning 34 out of 53 matches on the surface since 2021. He will be a key player for the United States and one they will rely on to beat Colombia and secure their place in the Davis Cup Finals.
#4. Carlos Alcaraz
Spain have historically had very strong teams competing in the Davis Cup qualifiers, with three top-20 players at their disposal in Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta and Carlos Alcaraz.
The latter is among the brightest young talents in tennis and has had a pretty good start to 2022 so far. Alcaraz reached the third round of the Australian Open before losing to Matteo Berrettini in a thrilling five-setter.
The Spaniard avenged his defeat by beating the Italian in the quarterfinals of the Rio Open. Alcaraz eventually went on to win the competition to seal the first ATP 500 title of his career.
Spain will rely heavily on the 18-year-old, who has won all five of his matches on clay so far this year.
#3. Casper Ruud
Ruud is undoubtedly Norway's talisman in the Davis Cup. The 23-year-old had an impressive 2021, winning 57 out of 74 matches and has fared decently in 2022 so far.
After winning two matches at the ATP Cup, the Norwegian won the Argentina Open to claim the seventh ATP title of his career.
Norway will play their Davis Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on hard courts, a surface on which Ruud has won 29 out of 40 matches since 2021.
#2. Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner helped Italy reach the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup last year, winning all three of his singles matches during the tournament.
The 20-year-old started 2022 by winning all three of his singles matches at the ATP Cup. He followed this up by reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before losing to Tsitsipas.
Sinner also reached the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships before being beaten by Hubert Hurkacz.
Italy play their Davis Cup qualifier against Slovakia on hardcourts, a surface on which the 20-year-old has won 48 out of 64 matches since 2021.
#1. Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev is the most recent addition to Germany's Davis Cup squad, replacing Daniel Altmaier.
The 24-year-old has won nine out of 12 matches in 2022 so far and is yet to achieve any notable feats apart from reaching the final of the Open Sud de France.
Zverev was the second seed at the Mexican Open but was disqualified from the competition due to unsportsmanlike conduct in his doubles match.
The World No.3 does fortify Germany's squad ahead of their qualifier against Brazil. The tie takes place on clay, where Zverev has won three out of his five Masters 1000 titles.
Also Check Out: Davis Cup 2022 Schedule