15 November 2019

Davis Cup: Tennis magic in Madrid

Hot on the heels of the Nitto ATP Finals in London come the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. It's the first year of its controversial new format which aims to turn the 119-year-old event into the Tennis World Cup

For Andy Murray, it is his first appearance at a Davis Cup tie in three years and part of his phenomenal return to elite tennis. For Djokovic, Nadal (we hope) and Medvedev, it is the ATP finals one week, and the Davis Cup the next. No sooner have they played their last matches in London, they will be flying to Spain to prepare for the new finals in the controversial new format of this historic tournament. This is what you need to know:

When is it happening?  November 18-24 The group stage (18 teams playing in 6 groups of 3) is played from  November 18-24. The quarter finals on November 21 & 22 (the top two teams on points in each group); the semis on November 23 (the last 8 in a knock out) and the final on November 24.
Teams play each other in a best-of-three format comprising two singles and a doubles match, all on the same day

Where does it take place? On indoor courts at The Caja Magica, Madrid. 

How to watch it?  On tv, Eurosport 1 (available either via Eurosport player or bundled as an extra with your Sky, Virgin or BT package) has exclusive coverage of the tournament. For tickets see https://www.daviscup.com/en/tickets/davis-cup-finals.aspx or email ticketing@kosmostennis.com

Why is it controversial? There are no longer 'home' and 'away' matches, which meant raucous and partisan crowds for the home team; matches which used to be played throughout the year are now telescoped into a week long event; the scheduling, immediately after the ATP end of year finals, is very tough on players.

Who is in Team GB? Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Neal Skupski and Andy & Jamie Murray: Captain Leon Smith

Which countries are in the Finals groups?

Group A: France, Japan, Serbia
Group B: Croatia, Russia, Spain
Group C: Argentina, Chile, Germany
Group D: Belgium,Colombia, Australia
Group E: Kazakhstan, Netherlands, GB
Group F: Italy, Canada, USA

What are GB's chances? In the group stage, Team GB looks strong, but Murray is taking nothing for granted. "Kazakhstan have got two very good singles players around 50 in the world, and play well," he told the Telegraph. "Holland have got really strong doubles and Robin Haase who’s been struggling singles-wise this year but he can play, he’s a really talented guy. I think we can get out of the group. But it’s not a gimme for us. There are so many good combinations in terms of the Kazakh singles and Dutch doubles. We’ll need to play well to get through it.”

Who are the defending champions? Croatia

Who are the favourites? Spain.  

Main pic: Andy Murray Murray confirmed to take on Kazakhstan and Netherlands in Group E, from ITF press release