The 2017 Davis Cup action began with a bang last weekend, with the Top 16 teams in the world battling it out against each other.
With defending champions Argentina stunned by dark horses Italy and five time champions Spain producing an incredible comeback from the brink, last weekend provided a glimpse to what this year’s Davis Cup has to offer. Now, with the quarterfinals taking place in the coming few weeks, we look at the Top contenders for this year’s ‘World Cup of Tennis’.
1.) Team Great Britain
The 2015 champions didn’t start off their 2017 campaign in the most convincing of fashions, but given the potential of this team, the no.3 seeds are the top ranked team left in the draw and will look forward to emulate their 2015 exploits.
With the likes of World No.1 Andy Murray and brother Jaime Murray and a whole generation of #NextGen youngsters such as Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans, TeamGB will shrug off their opening round encounter against Canada, and look forward to playing hosts and 2014 finalists France during their quarterfinal tie in April.
Team Serbia has made it to the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup over the past three years, and have once again done so, by successfully routing Russia in their first round matchup.
The 2010 champions have sported a blockbuster team, with World No.2 Novak Djokovic making himself available for as many ties as possible, and is provided with a great supporting cast in the form of veteran Nenad Zimonjic and Janko Tipsarevic. The no. 8 seeds have clearly underperformed over the past few years, and with Djokovic prioritising the Davis Cup, the team would prove a force to be reckoned with this year.
Unseeded Spain completed a sensational comeback victory over last year’s finalists Croatia, to show the world why they aren’t down and out. The five time champions haven’t been a shadow of their former selves, with them being demoted from the World Group three years back, followed by their promotion back to the same stage just this year.
With work horses such as Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut been back in form, and the commitments of Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez, Spain can be serious dark horses this time around, given the strength of their team and their potential. Without a dearth of quality players, Spain just needs to make things right, in order to sway the ties their way and prove why they are contenders for the highest honour in World Tennis.
4.) Team USA
Team USA made a statement in their demolishing of 2014 champions Switzerland in their first round tie. With a fairly easy draw their way till the finals, Team USA is capable of producing the occasional upset.
Big Servers of the likes of Sam Querrey and John Isner headline the team, along with young gun Jack Sock, and a committed performance can see them win their first title since 2007, adding to their already whooping 32 titles.
Clearly, the most underrated team this year at the Davis Cup.
Rahul is a tennis enthusiast and loves to write about sports in general. His inspirations are Rafael Nadal, Michael Phelps and Roger Federer.