The 2014 Davis Cup World Group draw is out and the big first round reveal is Great Britain travelling to the U.S. the weekend after the Australian Open.
The Americans aren’t what they were even five years ago with Andy Roddick but even without a true top star they are still formidable behind John Isner and the Bryan brothers. Regardless of surface (maybe a fast indoor hardcourt to help Sam?), with Andy Murray at the lead the Brits should win two then if someone like the improving Dan Evans can surprise a Sam Querrey an upset is possible especially given the contest will take place on the distraction-filled Super Bowl weekend! (At least Isner won’t have to worry about his Carolina Panthers playing in the game.)
“Great Britain will be a challenging and exciting opponent for us,” said Captain Jim Courier. “It’s going to memorable to have the two original Davis Cup nations face off again for the first time since the competition’s Centennial Celebration in 1999.”
The US and Great Britain first met all the way back in 1900 with the homestanding Americans winning 3-0.
Of course much of Davis Cup rests with who’ll actually sign on among the top stars, especially right after the Australian Open. Will Roger Federer decide to focus on one of the competitions missing from his trophy cabinet? Federer’s Swiss team will have their work cut out immediately as they’ll travel to Serbia where Novak Djokovic could be waiting. Even with Stan Wawrinka I don’t know if Team Switzerland can win that tie. Stan’s playing great tennis but Roger’s reeling and Switzerland doesn’t have a real doubles threat.
What about Rafael Nadal? Rafa just signed up for the Latin American swing again, but will he really play Australia, then Davis Cup then Rio? That’s a lot of tennis for someone who’s had knee issues.
Nadal and Spain open up on the road against a tough German team.
France is to me the deepest team and they’ll host Australia in another tricky first rounder. Canada will go to Japan in a sneaky tie while Italy and Argentina clash in South America.
As for an early pick, if the top stars do play, I think in the semifinals we’ll see the Czech Republic at Spain and then Serbia at Argentina. Obviously you have to like Spain at home against anyone and then I’ll go with Argentina and Del Potro to beat Djokovic.
And in the final, Argentina, which will likely play all of their ties at home (including the U.S. QF), once again comes up just short to Rafa and the Armada.
Before then, Serbia and Djokovic will welcome the Czechs in the 2013 Davis Cup final in mid November.
2014 DAVIS CUP DRAW
First round (31 January – 2 February)
Czech Republic [s] [c] v Netherlands
Japan [c] [*] v Canada [s]
Germany [c] v Spain [s]
France [s] [c] v Australia
USA [s] [c] v Great Britain
Argentina [s] [c] v Italy
Kazakhstan [s] [c] [*] v Belgium
Serbia [s] [c] v Switzerland
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