The ITF has announced the matchups for the eight nations competing in Málaga for the Davis Cup.
The qualifying stage for the finals saw some surprises, such as the eliminations of two favorites, Spain and the United States, before reaching the Quarterfinals.
The groups were drawn with matchups between teams that finished first in their respective groups and the second-placed teams from other groups. Thus, the leading teams in the draw were Canada, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. The second-place teams were Italy, Australia, Serbia, and South Korea.
Canada vs. Finland
The defending champions entered the group stage with serious doubts about what they could achieve without the injured Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger Aliassime, their two leaders. However, Gabriel Diallo and Alexs Galarneau played their best tennis and finished as leaders in a challenging group that included Italy, Chile, and Sweden.
Now they will face another surprising team, as the Finns, led by Otto Virtanen and Emil Ruusuvuori, left Croatia and the United States behind to reach the Quarterfinals for the first time in their history.
Czech Republic vs. Australia
Jiri Lehecka was the leader of his country to advance as leaders in a group they shared with Spain and Serbia. Most impressively, the Czech team won all nine matches they played against their rivals.
The Australian team, finalists last year and led by Lleyton Hewitt, started with a defeat against Great Britain but improved their level against France and Switzerland. They will now seek to advance with their star player, Alex de Minaur.
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Italy vs. Netherlands
The Italians did not have Jannik Sinner or Matteo Berrettini, but they showed that they have a strong team, with Matteo Arnaldi, Lorenzo Musetti, and Lorenzo Sonego demonstrating that they can step up when needed.
Their opponents are a team without players in the top 20 but are solid in every point thanks to Tallon Griekspoor and Botic van de Zandschulp, as well as the doubles pairing of Koolhof and Middelkoop.
Serbia vs. Great Britain
The Serbians had the stellar presence of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, just days after winning his 24th Grand Slam. Djokovic played both singles and doubles and led a team with high aspirations in the Quarterfinals.
On the other side, the British team had to fight for their qualification in the last series against France, but they ultimately prevailed thanks to the outstanding performance of Dan Evans. It's undoubtedly a dangerous and competitive team, considering they have the young talent Jack Draper, the veteran Andy Murray, as well as Cam Norrie and doubles specialist Neal Skupski.