With the 2023 US Open wrapping up, it’s time for the World Cup of Tennis, the 2023 Davis Cup. Many intriguing match-ups are set in the group stages, so let’s dive in!
2023 Davis Cup
This year’s Davis Cup group stages will be played in the cities of Bologna, Manchester, Valencia, and Split. Four teams automatically qualified for the 2023 Davis Cup: Australia (last year’s champion), Canada (last year’s runner-up), and two wild cards (Italy and Spain). Other qualified teams include the United States, Serbia, and Great Britain.
Much like the FIFA World Cup, the Davis Cup is made of group stages where 16 qualified teams are divided into four groups of four. The four teams in each group face off against each other, playing each team once in a round-robin format. Each group match-up will have two single matches and one double match played.
The top eight teams (the top two with the most points from each group) advance to a single elimination-style tournament in the round of 8, which is to be played in Malaga. The winner of the round of eight single elimination tournament will be crowned the 2023 Davis Cup champions.
Painting the lines 🎨
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) September 9, 2023
Group Breakdown and Analysis:
All eyes are on last year’s reigning champion, the nation that Terrance and Phillip (Shout out Trey Parker and Matt Stone) call home, Canada. To be honest, I really wanted to make an “Eh?” reference here, but the focus should all be on Canada’s play, not the “Eh?”. Italy has three players ranked in the top 40, making the Italian side a solid and well-rounded team.
Look not only for Canada and Italy to advance in group A but for Italy to give the Canadian team the message that it’s not going to be easy to repeat by defeating Canada in their group play match-up.
This is the group that will be the most exciting. Australia was last year’s runner-up. France has arguably one of the most experienced teams in the group stages, and Great Britain will have the crowd behind them with the home-court advantage in the group stages. This is also Switzerland’s first time playing in the group stages of the Davis Cup, so expect them to be motivated.
Expect the home team to make their fans happy, with Great Britain advancing to the knockout stages. Keep an eye on Andy Murray in doubles play. I expect him to be the difference maker for the land that calls Charles King. Also, in a no-brainer, last year’s runner-up, Australia, looks to avenge their loss in the finals last year. That starts with them advancing out of the group stage.
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) September 9, 2023
In what was breaking news as I wrote this article and a big-time bummer, Carlos Alcaraz has officially pulled out of the 2023 Davis Cup for the Spanish side. This comes less than a day after Alcaraz’s hard-fought match against Danil Medvedev in the US Open, which ended with Medvedev advancing to the finals.
Speaking of the US Open finals, the Serbian side will have the man facing off again, Medvedev, playing for their side in Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz withdrawing means we won’t get to see the elite match-up of Alcaraz against Djokovic.
Moving to the group stage match-ups, Group C is the true wild card. Any of the four teams could make it out of group play and onto the knockout stages. Look for Serbia to advance behind the elite play of Djokovic and the Spanish side to rally around the home-court advantage, showing everyone they can still play at a high level even without Alcaraz and advance out of the group.
Group D will be the hardest for a team to advance from among the four groups. Three of the four teams in Group D made it to the final eight in last year’s tournament. One of those three teams won’t even make it out of the group stages this year. All of the match-ups in this group’s round-robin stages will be absolute battles.
Of course, I have to go with my home country of the United States to advance out of the group. But I have some rationale behind my pick, not just fandom. First, the United States is the most successful nation when it comes to the Davis Cup. The United States has won the Davis Cup 32 times, but their last Davis Cup championship was all the way back in 2007.
In a round-robin group of “death” because of the intense match-ups, where every match and every point is going to matter, I like the United States’ one-two combination of Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul. Also, the doubles play of Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek, both Grand Slam doubles champions, will help the United States advance.
Speaking of doubles play, that will be what allows Croatia to be the second team that will advance out of group D. With single matches expected to be split and close very often, doubles play could come down to being the determining factor. Enter Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic of Croatia. They are Grand Slam doubles champions. Look for Croatia to advance out of the group behind the Doubles play of Dodig and Pavic.
What a duo! 🏆
— ITF (@ITFTennis) September 8, 2023