2004 Davis Cup Tennis Odds

February 3, 2004

The first round of the Davis Cup kicks off on Feb. 6-8, which means it's time for another round of Tennis-X yearly predictions. Noticeably missing from this year's party are Germany, Great Britain and Brazil, all banished to minor league play for the year after failing to re-up in the qualifying round in 2003. Rainer, Tim, Guga, have a good time in Euro/African/Whatever Zone IV competition travelling to trendy tourist destinations like Zimbabwe and Israel (don't forget the bulletproof vest).

Australia has a long road in defending their championship in 2004, perched in the top half of the draw with the U.S., Russia, and the Argentine Army. The bottom half the of the draw is up for grabs, featuring the injury-hit Spaniards, Switzerland, France and Croatia among the favorites. So take a read, then head to the nearest on-line bookie, and don't forget to send us our cut when the check rolls in:

1. Australia 3-1 Defending champs too solid with Hewitt, Flipper, and dubs veterans
2. USA 5-1 Stacked team in year-end No. 1s Roddick and Bryan brothers hungry for a win
3. Switzerland 7-1 "Team Fed" can take it to the hoop, Swiss have a cake draw
4. Spain 10-1 Big line-up but hit by injuries from too much play in 2003, depth could save them
5. Russia 15-1 Almost the same team from 2002 title run, but Safin still injury-prone?
6. France 15-1 Good draw, but seems one of their top dogs is always injured
7. Croatia 25-1 Ivan Ljubicic, Goran and Baby Goran could surprise in 2004 in weak bottom half
8. Czech Rep. 40-1 Novak/Stepanek may shock the world over injured Spain in opener
9. Argentina 40-1 Injured crew, plus in brutal top half of draw with Aussies, U.S., Russia
10. Netherlands 50-1 Dutch an auto win over Canada in opener, then Spain or Czechs, no long term
11. Belarus 70-1 Max "The Beast" Mirnyi could lead a shocker over Russia, but unlikely
12. Morocco 100-1 1Knocked Britain out of the WG, but with Younes fighting injury, not a good look
13. Romania 120-1 Andrei Pavel and Victor Hanescu not keeping any team up at night with worry
14. Austria 150-1 Beating Roddick and Bryan brothers too big a task for power-challenged Austria
15. Sweden 150-1 Unless Enqvist and Bjorkman find their games, could be a WG exit in 2004
16. Canada 200-1 Nice upset over Brazil with no-name crew to get in WG, but all dreams ends sometime

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