The 18 aspirants to the Salad Bowl

The new Davis Cup is very open. There will be six top-10 players: Nadal, Djokovic, Medvedev, Berrettini, Bautista and Monfils.


The new Davis Cup brings together 18 countries in one week. Hence the winner of the first Salad Bowl of the 'Piqué Era'. Among the candidates, in a competition that is very open, there will be six top-10 players from the ATP: Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini, Roberto Bautista and Gael Monfils. Croatia is the current champion, but arrives with the loss of Marin Cilic. Group B is the so-called 'of death', because it brings together Spain, Russia and Croatia. The first six of each group and the two best seconds pass to the quarterfinals.

France: Veteranía in the 'bleus'

Third historical power of Davis with 10 titles and nine other finals, France was one of the last champions with the traditional format that was fired last year. In 2017, the team that captained Yannick Noah beat Belgium last 3-2. Last year, the bleus stayed one step away from repeating, but fell against Croatia. Lucas Pouille (22nd), critical of the new Davis, is injured

Serbia: Djokovic rectified and will play

Nation with little success in Davis, due to the recent independence, despite having in recent years one of the best players of all time, Novak Djokovic. He won in 2010 (to France) and lost the 2014 final against the Swiss of Federer and Wawrinka. Nole, despite his criticism of the new competition and his preference for the ATP Cup, once again leads the Balkan team with the intention of increasing his record in the official farewell of veteran Janko Tipsarevic.

Japan: without Nishikori it is only surprising

Country with little tennis tradition and almost null in the Davis Cup elite (only one final in 1921). Neither the irruption of Kei Nishikori (13th), who will not be this year in Madrid due to injury, raised the flight of the Asian giant beyond staying several years in the World Group. The Japanese have a hard time surprising their group rivals.

Spain: Passion, Nadal and desire of the sixth

Host country and champion five times between 2000 and 2011, he played two other finals in the 60s, with the great Manolo Santana, and two more in 2003 and 2012. Seven years ago the Red did not He has a chance like picking up the Salad. Nadal's dependence is absolute, although in 2008, the team trained by Emilio Sánchez Vicario 'stole' the title from Argentina in Mar del Plata with Ferrer, Verdasco, Feliciano and Granollers.

Russia: The danger of Medvedev and Khachanov

In its short history as an independent nation of the USSR, Russia has won two titles (2002 and 2006), but since it reached the final in 2007 (fell to the US), it has not taken great performances . That may change now that he has three players in very good shape: Medvedev (who led Nadal to the final in five sets), Khachanov and Rublev. Its biggest weakest point is the doubles, where it does not have any great specialist.Croatia: The champion ran out of Cilic

Twice a winner in the competition, one in 2005 with Ivanisevic as leader and another one last year when he unseated France, he can suffer a lot to pass the crossings at the Madrid event, because his number one, Marin Cilic, resigned at the last minute to his place in the team for an injury (one knee should be operated) and will have to assume the role of leader Borna Coric. His great weapon is the doubles, because it brings together three of the best players in the world, Dodig, Mektic and Pavic. Complete the Nino Serdarucic team. Internal problems (the Croatian press talks about conflict over the distribution of money) caused the removal of the captain, Zeljko Krajan, who has been urgently replaced by Franko Skugor.

Argentina: The 'Peque' Schwartzman in the role of Del Potro

The Argentine Legion arrives with a wild card (invitation). He has participated on 62 occasions (the first in 1923), with 90 wins and 65 defeats in qualifying rounds and being able to win the title for the first and only time in 2016. That team was led by Juan Martín del Potro, who after winning the title He announced that he was retiring from competitions with Argentina. Although it is difficult to overcome a loss like that of Tandil tennis player, the albiceleste brings five level players with Diego Schwartzman as the main star. The innate character of the team and a fan who does not stop squeezing are the main weapons to take his second salad bowl.

Chile: The youth of Garín and Jarry

With Nicolás Massú as captain, the Chilean team seeks to fight against the big ones again. He has more than 50% winning percentage in qualifiers (84-71), but has only been able to access the final once in 72 participations. It was in 1976 when he fell to Italy in Santiago 1-4. He again had a good group of players in the early years of the 21st century, but he did not give him to win the title. For this Davis, the Chilean fans have regained the illusion. A young team, with Nicolás Jarry and Christian Garín of 24 and 23 years respectively as referents, that has raised the optimism of a country that returns to vibrate with its selection after more than a decade of disappointments.

Germany: Zverev preferred an exhibition

Three titles for the German team in the 72 editions contested, with 200 qualifiers that have won in 132 for 68 losses. However, it has not been able to reach the final for 26 years. In this new edition they will have complicated to return to the top considering that their best tennis player, Alexander Zverev, number 7 of the ATP ranking that resigned to dispute the tournament will not be available. Those days, he will be playing an exhibition against Federer. His best weapon will be the pair of doubles formed by Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, one of the best of the year.

Colombia: Cabal and Farah, number one doubles

Only one year in the World Group for a country that first played Davis in 1959 and presents a balance of 57 victories in 109 qualifiers. Pablo González is the team captain and has summoned the young Daniel Galán, the veterans Santiago Giraldo and Alejandro González and two contrasted dubbers such as Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah, first in the world ranking and winners of a Wimbledon and a US Open together.

Australia: The 'bomb' Kyrgios in the Hewitt Five

With 28 titles, it is the second country that has won the most salad bowls. For 100 years participating in the competition, he has been 32 in the World Group and has played 259 qualifiers with a balance of 188 wins and 71 losses. Lleyton Hewitt is the captain and the wayward Nick Kyrgios, with whom he has had some clash, his most media player. Young De Miñaur, Millman, Thompson and the doubler John Peers complete the quintet.

Belgium: Goffin and the experience of Darcis

They have played 192 qualifiers with 98 wins and no titles since their first edition (they were runners-up in 1904, 2015 and 2017), in 1904. They are 21 years in the World Group for the team captained in these finals by Johan Van Herck, who has his number one in David Goffin, two doubles specialists like Vliegen and Gille and two fighters like Darcis and Coppejans. They beat Brazil in the February qualifiers to seal their ticket to Madrid.

Great Britain: The Illusion of Andy Murray

A competition power in the first half of the 20th century that since 1936 has only won one title (2015). It is the only country that has played all editions and has a balance of 153 victories in 250 qualifiers. Andy Murray is recovered for these finals, who tries to return for his privileges after the recurring hip problems that prematurely removed him from the tracks after this year's Australian Open.

Kazakhstan: Bublik and Kukushkin, threat in indoor

The first appearance of Kazakhs as an independent country came in 1995 (they previously competed under the USSR flag) and since then they have reached the quarterfinals five times. They are hard to peel at home (11 of the last 12 qualifiers won), but this time they have to face neutral ground (less for Spain). 43 wins in 72 qualifiers for a squad that has two dangerous tricks in singles like Bublik and Kukushkin.

Holland: Do and nothing to lose

The Dutch, 164 qualifiers with 74 victories in 92 years competing in the competition, got the pass to these finals with a great performance by Robin Haase in the last qualifying round against the Czech Republic. The Hague will be the first sword of a team that also has one of the best dubbers in the world, Jean-Julien Rojer. The semifinals of 2001 are currently its historic roof.

United States: Cannons in the country with more titles

It is the great historical power of the Davis with 32 titles, including that of the inaugural edition, although they have a 12-year drought (the last one was in 2007). They qualified as semifinalists of the previous edition and have 291 qualifiers already with 219 victories. Extenista Mardy Fish is the team captain and leads a group of 'gunboats' with Tiafoe, Sock, Opelka, Fritz and Querrey.

Italy: Heart, the surprising Berrettini and Fognini

Certified the pass in the February qualifiers against India and aspire to raise in Madrid a Salad Bowl that has resisted them since 1976. Later times Nicola Pietrangeli, the man who played the most qualifiers (164) and more matches have won both singles (78) and doubles (42) in the history of the competition. Berrettini, in a sweet year, and Fognini are the main threats of Corrado Barazzutti.

Canada: Emerging tennis players and Raonic's loss

Only two semifinals, and in a span of a century (in 1913 and 2013), for a team that has played 155 qualifiers in 90 years with 67 wins. Highlights the youth on the list of Frank Dancevic, with two young people present and future as Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime (those who resolved the qualifying round against Slovakia), underpinned by veteran Vasek Pospisil. Its most established player, the gunman Milos Raonic, caused the previous week to fall due to a back injury.

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