Former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, David Goffin and Jack Sock are the headliners this weekend for their respective countries for the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals, held in Australia, Belgium, France and Serbia.
Here is a look at the four quarterfinal meetings and who is favored to move into the semis:
ITALY at BELGIUM
Spiroudome de Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium
Surface: hard indoor
This tie will be all about No. 2 — who will step up as the second singles player for their respective countries, Steve Darcis for Belgium, or Paolo Lorenzi or Andreas Seppi for Italy? Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini has had a hot hand of late, and his match against Belgium No. 1 David Goffin could be the difference-maker. The doubles will also be a toss up between Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans-Joris de Loore and Italian Simone Bolelli and possibly Fognini.
Outlook: Italy invades and conquers
Steve Darcis v Paolo Lorenzi
David Goffin v Andreas Seppi
Ruben Bemelmans & Joris De Loore v Simone Bolellli & Alessandro Giannessi
David Goffin v Paolo Lorenzi
Steve Darcis v Andreas Seppi
SPAIN at SERBIA
Aleksandar Nikolic Arena, Belgrade, Serbia
Surface: hard indoor
Serbia hosts Spain for the first time ever, and this one should be a rout for the home team. Think about some of the great Spanish players — Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, etc. Now look at this team: Pablo Carreno Busta, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Marcel Granollers, Marc Lopez. This should be fresh meat for Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki, along with Dusan Lajovic and playing captain Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles. Spain should instead send over their Junior Davis Cup team, the result would probably be the same.
Outlook: Serbia into the semis
Novak Djokovic v Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Viktor Troicki v Pablo Carreno-Busta
Viktor Troicki & Nenad Zimonjic v Marc Lopez & Jaume Munar
Novak Djokovic v Pablo Carreno-Busta
Viktor Troicki v Albert Ramos-Vinolas
GREAT BRITAIN at FRANCE
Kindarena, Rouen, France
Surface: clay indoor
No Andy Murray (bad elbow) means no luck for the Brits on red clay in France. Gilles Simon and Lucas Pouille should be enough to ground down Brits Daniel Evans and Kyle Edmund.
Outlook: The Kindarena will be kind to the French
Lucas Pouille v Kyle Edmund
Jeremy Chardy v Dan Evans
Julien Benneteau & Nicolas Mahut v Dom Inglot & Jamie Murray
Lucas Pouille v Dan Evans
Jeremy Chardy v Kyle Edmund
USA at AUSTRALIA
Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, Australia
Surface: hard outdoor
Didn’t this happen just a year ago? But Nick Kyrgios is a different player since then. Jack Sock and John Isner will take the singles duties for the U.S. Kyrgios will be joined in singles by Challenger-level player Jordan Thompson. Kyrgios would have to one-man-band Australia over the finish line for this one, including a win by Aussies Sam Groth and John Peers.
Outlook: The U.S. in five, with Isner beating Thompson in the decider
Jordan Thompson v Jack Sock
Nick Kyrgios v John Isner
Sam Groth & John Peers v Steve Johnson & Sam Querrey
Nick Kyrgios v Jack Sock
Jordan Thompson v John Isner
You Might Like:
Nick Kyrgios Says He’s Learned To Keep His Mouth Shut
Kyrgios Missing Davis Cup Practices at Kooyong; Illness, Possible Injury?
Nick Kyrgios Pulled From Rotterdam To Play The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, Except He Didn’t Get Picked
Nick Kyrgios: The Ban Has Put Me In Good Shape For 2017
Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios In Feud Over “Fake Injury”