Davis Cup Qualifying Previews: Morocco at Australia, Japan at Chile

Posted on September 24, 2004

Tennis-X will take a look at two Davis Cup qualifying matches per day leading to the beginning of play on Friday, Sept. 24. Four countries will advance to the World Group, while the four losers will wallow for at least another year in the minor leagues of Davis Cup zonal play.

The eight qualifying matches this weekend are Morocco at Australia, Japan at Chile, Belgium at Croatia, Czech Republic at Paraguay, Germany at Slovak Republic, Great Britain at Austria, Canada at Romania, and Thailand at Russia.

Today's previews: Morocco at Australia, Japan at Chile

Morocco at Australia
Royal Kings Park, West Perth, AUS
Surface: Grass (outdoors)
Ball: Slazenger Grasscourt UV Hydroguard

This was at least a match before Younes El Aynaoui pulled with his chronic foot problem and Hicham Arazi said he wouldn't play because the Moroccan federation wasn't paying him enough (actually when he felt he wasn't making enough bank for his appearance said 'I'm injured').

Now Lleyton Hewitt and Aussie neophyte Todd Reid will take to the grass against a who's who of Moroccans in Mehdi Ziadi, Mounir El Aarej, Talal Ouahabi, and Mehdi Tahiri. Yikes. If there was a Davis Cup rule that your opponents had to have a player within the Top 400 in singles, this would be a walkover for Australia.

Japan at Chile
Club Naval de Campo Las Salinas, Vina del Mar, CHI
Surface: Red Clay (outdoors)
Ball: Penn Championship (Black Seal)

Another enormous mismatch, with Japan's finest in Gouichi Motomura, Takao Suzuki, Takahiro Terachi, and Thomas Shimada taking to the foreign red clay against Athens Olympics heroes Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez and Nicolas "The Golden Child" Massu.

While the Japanese should be lauded for fighting their way to the World Group playoff round, one player in the Top 200 is not going to cut it, much less on the Chilean red clay. Time to hoist the surrender flag and go home.