By Ricky Dimon
The field for the 2022 Davis Cup Finals is set. Sixteen countries competed last weekend for the coveted eight spots, with successful qualification by Italy, Croatia, Spain, Canada, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and the United States.
They were among the top two teams in four different groups, earning trips to Malaga in late November.
Here’s how the four groups fared well:
Group A: Winner) Italy, Runner-up) Croatia, Eliminated) Sweden and Argentina
Matteo Berrettini won all three of his singles matches to help Italy win 3-0 in front of the home crowd in Bologna. Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli won two of their three doubles matches. Croatia recovered from an early defeat to the Italians by beating Sweden and Argentina. A 2-1 victory over Sweden proved especially crucial. The Croatians lost the first rubber of that tie, but Borna Coric held off Mikael Ymer in three sets before Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic claimed the doubles point.
Group C: Winner) Germany, Runner-up) Australia, Eliminated) France and Belgium
Group C was arguably the deepest, with more parity than any other quartet. On paper, it looked like it could go in any direction. However, Germany and Australia wasted no time in winning places in Malaga. Both teams raced to 2-0 records to eliminate France and Belgium. The Germans Jan-Lennard Struff, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz were the stars of the group. In fact, all three of Germany’s draws went exactly the same way: Struff won, Oscar Otte lost, and the Krawietz-Puetz duo took the decisive doubles rubber.
Group D: Winner) Netherlands, Runner-up) United States, Eliminated) Great Britain and Kazakhstan
Both the Netherlands and the United States rose to 2-0 records in two matches in Glasgow, leaving Great Britain and Kazakhstan 0-2. So there were no complicated scenarios going into the finals. Netherlands v USA took first place in Group D, while Great Britain v Kazakhstan was a dead draw. Botic van de Zandschulp couldn’t have had a better weekend as he compiled a 3-0 record in singles as he beat Alexander Bublik, Cameron Norrie and Taylor Fritz. Second place basically went to the doubles dispute between the Americans and the British. USA’s Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram fell behind by a set and a break, but came back to defeat Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury.
Check out the quarter-final clashes in Malaga:
1A) Italy vs. 2D) United States
1C) Germany vs. 2B) Canada
1D) Netherlands vs. 2C) Australia
1B) Spain vs. 2A) Croatia
Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains its own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.