Davis Cup First Round Preview: Djokovic, Kyrgios, Zverev, Gasquet Headline
by Staff | February 2nd, 2017, 7:37 pm

Following a busy Olympic season and many of the top stars close to or into their 30s, the first round World Group Davis Cup field is without many marquee names. But a few (5 in the Top 20) are still making their appearance.

Former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic leads a Serbian team that welcomes a young, talented Russian squad. The Russians are anchored by 20-year-olds Karen Khanchanov and Daniil Medevedev. Djokovic opens play Friday against Medvedev.

“The Russians have a young and motivated team, therefore we have to take them very seriously,” Djokovic said. “They are all in the top 100, they can all play singles and doubles so it’s not going to be easy by any means.

Djokovic comes in off a stunning loss to Denis Istomin at the Australian Open.

“I always try to take the best out of these Davis Cup weeks for my individual career because we don’t get too many chances to represent our country in a team competition,” he added. “Coming back to the Davis Cup week is like coming home to a family and with that in mind, we will do our best to delight our home crowd who turned up in such great numbers for yesterday’s practice.”

Djokovic is the lone Top 14 player in competition this weekend.

Troubled Nick Kyrgios and Australia will host the Czech Republic at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt has Jordan Thompson in for Bernard Tomic.

“I think it’s a good draw for us and Jordan doesn’t have to waste a lot of nervous energy in the locker room,” Hewitt said. “Then we get our No. 1 player Nick in the next match. If we can get a good performance in the first match and then Nick, that can potentially open up this tie.”

Alexander Zverev and Philipp Kohlschreiber star for Germany as they welcome Belgium. The American tandem of Jack Sock and John Isner host the Federer-less Swiss team. And this time USA will be without the Bryans brothers who have retired from Davis Cup play, giving way to Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey.

With Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon, France also figures to be in good shape as they travel to Japan.

Argentina v Italy – Buenos Aires, ARG – clay (outdoors)
Head-to-head: Argentina leads 2-1
A 4th meeting between these 2 nations – and their 3rd in 4 years. Argentina won their first meeting with Italy on away soil in Rome in 1983, but the two teams have split their two more recent meetings. Italy won 3-1 the last time the two nations met on Argentine soil – a first round tie in 2014 – but Argentina took their revenge with a 3-1 win in last year’s quarterfinals en route to winning the Davis Cup title for the first time.
Guido Pella (ARG) v Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Leonardo Mayer/Diego Schwartzman (ARG) v Simone Bolelli/Andreas Seppi (ITA)
Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
Guido Pella (ARG) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)

Germany v Belgium – Frankfurt, GER – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Germany leads 8-0
A 9th meeting for the 2 nations but their first in almost a decade. The teams last met in a World Group
quarterfinal in Ostend in April 2007, when Germany won 3-2, wrapping the tie up in the doubles rubber on the
second day of play. Of the players who contested that tie, only Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber will play this weekend.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Steve Darcis (BEL)
Alexander Zverev (GER) v Arthur de Greef (BEL)
Jan-Lennard Struff/Mischa Zverev (GER) v Ruben Bemelmans/Joris de Loore (BEL)
Alexander Zverev (GER) v Steve Darcis (BEL)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Arthur de Greef (BEL)

Australia v Czech Republic – Melbourne, AUS – hard (outdoors)
Head-to-head: Australia leads 7-1
A 9th meeting between these 2 nations, whose last clash came in the World Group first round in Ostrava in
2015, when Bernard Tomic clinched the tie in the fourth rubber. The visitors’ only victory over Australia came under the flag of Czechoslovakia in 1975, when Jan Kodes led the
Czechs to a 3-1 victory in Prague.
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Jan Satral (CZE)
Sam Groth/John Peers (AUS) v Zdnek Kolar/Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Jan Satral (CZE)

USA v Switzerland – Birmingham, AL, USA – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: USA leads 3-1
A 5th meeting between these 2 nations but their first since 2012, when USA stunned Switzerland 5-0 on clay in
Fribourg in a tie that saw Mardy Fish defeat Stan Wawrinka in five sets before an inspired John Isner took the
scalp of Roger Federer in the 2nd rubber. Switzerland is bidding to defeat USA for the first time since 2001, when Federer led the hosts to a 3-2 victory in the World Group first round in Basle.
Jack Sock (USA) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)
John Isner (USA) v Henri Laaksonen (SUI)
Steve Johnson/Sam Querrey v Antoine Bellier/Adrien Bossel (SUI)
Jack Sock (USA) v Henri Laaksonen (SUI)
John Isner (USA) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

Japan v France – Tokyo, JPN – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: France leads 3-0
France is looking to maintain its undefeated record against Japan, having beaten this weekend’s opponent in all
3 of their previous meetings – 3-2 at Forest Hills in 1926, 3-0 in Boston in 1927 and 4-1 at Roland Garros in
1981. This is France’s first visit to Japan.
Taro Daniel (JPN) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) v Gilles Simon (FRA)
Yuichi Sugita/Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) v Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Taro Daniel (JPN) v Gilles Simon (FRA)

Canada v Great Britain – Ottawa, CAN – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Great Britain leads 1-0
Great Britain won the only previous meeting between these 2 nations 4-1 on clay in Bournemouth in 1967, when
3 of the 4 live rubbers were decided in 5 sets. Roger Taylor won the decisive fourth rubber, defeating Michael
Belkin in 5 sets.
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v Daniel Evans (GBR)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)
Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray (GBR)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Daniel Evans (GBR)
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)

Serbia v Russia – Nis, SRB – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Russia leads 1-0
Russia won the only previous meeting between these 2 nations 3-2 in 2008, when Novak Djokovic retired
injured against Nikolay Davydenko in the decisive fourth rubber.
Viktor Troicki (SRB) v Karen Khachanov (RUS)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Daniil Medvedev (RUS)
Viktor Troicki/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) v Konstantin Kravchuk/Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Karen Khachanov (RUS)
Viktor Troicki (SRB) v Daniil Medvedev (RUS)

Croatia v Spain – Osijek, CRO – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Spain leads 1-0
A 2nd Davis Cup meeting between these 2 nations, with Spain winning their only previous encounter 5-0 in
Valencia in 2003.
Franko Skugor (CRO) v Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
Ante Pavic (CRO) v Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Marin Draganja/Nikola Mektic (CRO) v Feliciano Lopez/Marc Lopez (ESP)
Franko Skugor (CRO) v Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Ante Pavic (CRO) v Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)

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26 Comments for Davis Cup First Round Preview: Djokovic, Kyrgios, Zverev, Gasquet Headline

RZ Says:

Hadn’t realize that Djokovic was playing Davis Cup, and hadn’t realized the Aussies let Kyrgios back on the team.

I think Team GB has a good shot against the Raonic-less Canadians, though once again doubles will be key and both teams have good doubles players.

Chrisford1 Says:

Not only is Djokovic playing, he’s playing some chick named Karen.

courbon Says:

Chris, that “chick” Karen looks like my cousin Robert-tall, biceps, strong legs…if you want I can set you up?

Willow Says:

Courbon lol ….

Margot Says:

Chicks catch worms…just sayin’.

courbon Says:

Willow-“Some like it hot”

Margot-Thank you for a lesson in biology.By the way,I’m not talking to you ( or any Andy supporter )-That miserable git cost me a wager-€20 to be presiced.My ex-coach said that Fed will win, bet with me and I laughed and shake the hand ( that was a day when Andy lost ).Seriouisly, that boy needs a wack…

Wog Boy Says:

Nole keeps embarrassing himself, he played crap, lucky Medvedev decided to retire, and don’t tell me he had shoulder problems, that’s blatant lie.
He should do Rafa and Roger and disappear for six months and make up his mind whether he wants to play tennis or not. He just doesn’t look happy, as the matter of fact he looks confused and sad, you can’t fake happiness no matter what you say or do.

skeezer Says:


If I swung the racket like that “contorted” my shoulder would be sore too!

Giles Says:

Geez skeezer. Wasn’t long ago you were claiming to be a joker fan and now? You are such a hypocrite, lol. 👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎

skeezer Says:

Re: Nole
I am a fan of Nole, just not of the Novakian Club who spends there ever waking hour disssin’ on Fed to try and prop him up. Both guys don’t need that.

J-Kath Says:

Goodbye everyone – those who were special and those who were patronising – you are all stars in your own way. But I’m finished here. Of all things I wish you retain (or find) a sense of humour – sometimes so sadly missing from all our lives.

I shan’t be back.

AndyMira Says:

Hey!hey wait a minute JK!…I’ve just woke up and suddenly i read this..”I shant be back”!…Why?…Oh!JK!Please don’t leave…i know you don’t like me much…but i like you…everyday,i’m looking forward to read your post..along with M,willow,okie and others..everyday when i woke up..i’m always thinking..”hmm,Jk maybe not sleeping yet and she maybe post a couple of comments before she go to sleep today and so is willow but M,i have to wait until she wake up which is about 1 or 2 or 3pm my time[depend her mood or Andy i guess]..yep!i’m not a stalker M but your routine guys, are in front of my mind everyday because you guys important to me…So,JK if you hurt by someone’s comment just ignore it okay?God knows me and willow got a fair share of it especially willow….but she keep coming back and i hope you too JK…take a rest for a while but please come back…okay?

J-Kath Says:


Against my better judgement, one more explanation:

The reason I’m leaving is partly because I get weary of disertations on which player is this/that/or the other and the so-called undisputable facts presented that supposedly proved the long-winded explanation given by the fan….creates the need by other fans to respond in kind. Nothing to do with what people say of which I approve, disapprove or for any other reason.

The main reason is: it is now a year since my husband died and I must get on with my life and I have been using TX posting as an escape from what I must get on with – sorri an explanation of what I mean can not fully be supplied….except TX is being used as an escape from reality and now I need to face reality and not find excuses for not doing so.

As for not liking you: When I said something about my husband sometime ago – you kept coming back and telling me this that and the next thing and you really upset me because it was not welcome at that time and you were so wrong. That was a long time time ago and is forgotten/forgiven. I no longer resent that – and these days it is not true that I don’t like you – but please understand – I’m not into “darling”, “sweetie” or endearments – even with my sisters/friends etc.

Finally, I love humour, love to joke, to laugh, but essentially I need to move on as I’m allowing myself too much slack and that is not who I am or want to be.

Take care of yourself and your family. I hope your life is happy and fulfilling.

Hugs (yes – I do, do Hugs)
By by.

AndyMira Says:

@JK…Oh,okay…then i will wish you all the best and you will find what you’re looking for in the end and as a friend..BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!….VAMOS JK!!!

Wog Boy Says:


Stay safe, I hope I can find you when in Scotland, it is not if but when I arrive there to check on that single malt one.
It was pleasure to know you and exchange thoughts, whether we agreed or not.

Danica Says:

I am definitely sorry I won’t be reading your thoughts here but I appreciate and respect your choice. You will do what you think is the best for you and your future. I hope we helped you, in our small way, through a very difficult time in your life. Now, you are opening another chapter and I can only and sincerely wish you the very best of luck.
Stay safe.
Sending you much positive energy and virtual hugs!

Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath….Can’t say that I blame you…..sometimes it all gets rather redundant…..I totally understand……but I have enjoyed our interaction. Hope 2017 will be a better year for you! Sincerely, Janis.

Margot Says:

Bye and good luck, Kath.

Willow Says:

J-Kath i will really miss your posts, and interacting with you, i know its your choice, but maybe if you take a break, and some time out, i know you you feel, these forums can be mine fields at times, like Okie says i hope 2017 will bring you happiness and good things, i wish you well for the future BEST WISHES AND HUGS ALISON XX ;-) ….

Okiegal Says:

@AM…….Are you around?? Left you messages on FB…..hope you are OK.

Okiegal Says:

@Mira…..I’m on the road toTexas for another fishing tournament. Hope he has better luck at this one than the last one. The weather should be better……in the 70s……better than what we had in Alabama!

AndyMira Says:

@Okie…You left me a msg on FB?Oh,sorry okie…i don’t know why but my FB not function properly these last couple of days..maybe weather or connection..don’t know..but as soon as it working,i’ll msg u okay?…Btw…ANOTHER FISHIN’ TRIP!!!!…U just got back from one okie!!!..Ho!ho!ho!…make sure Derek catch a very beautiful and handsome fish with a silky skin and glittered eyes this time okie!…Have fun okay?

Okiegal Says:

@AM…..You always manage to make me laugh!! Thanx for that! I had a feeling something was out of sync with your FB account. It will come back on…..could be weather. Yes we’ve been on the move! About Derek and his fishing…..I don’t think he could catch a cold! Lol The 🐂 💜s 🐟🐟🐟 2…..😁😁

Daniel Says:

Wasn’t able to watch any of this weekend’s Davis Cup, mom visiting.

So by the comments it looks like Djoko is still fighting himself or injury. will try to watch some highlights to see how his game is. Even at his C game he is better than almost everybody on tour.

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