The Davis Cup World Group semi-finals get underway today between Belgium and Australia at the Palais12, Brussels on indoor clay and France and Serbia at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. Belgium and Australia are almost at full strength with Goffin facing Millman, who replaced Kokkinakis, and Darcis facing the controversial Kyrgios in both singles rubbers today. Bemelmans and de Greef face Peers and Thompson in the doubles tomorrow and the potential all important deciding singles rubbers on Sunday could see Goffin and Kyrgios battle it out to decide who reaches Novembers final.
With injury doubts surrounding both countries star players Goffin and Kyrgios it’s a difficult contest to predict, but on indoor clay, on home soil and with the advantage of winning the last two head-to-head’s I have to side with Belgium, who I think may sneak this 3-1 or 3-2. On paper and terms of singles rankings France are the overwhelming favourites to progress to the Davis Cup final at the expense of Serbia this weekend as the Serb’s are missing talisman Djokovic and also Troicki.
However, they are replaced by two up and coming journeyman of the Challenger and ATP Tours, Lajovic and Djere for the singles rubbers and both players are well at home on the red dirt and are more than capable of making life difficult for Pouille and Tsonga, who have not been in the best of form over recent months. At the prices, I’m not a fan of France as I think Lajovic and/or Djere are capable of winning a singles rubber today and on Sunday if the tie goes the distance and the doubles looks a definite 50/50 between Mahut/Herbert and Krajinovic/Zimonjic.
There are also eight Davis Cup World Group play offs this weekend to determine next seasons World Group participants and the pick of the ties looks to be between the Czech Republic and Netherlands featuring Vesely and Haase, Germany and Portugal with the Germans missing the Zverev brothers and Kohlschreiber and Russia and India featuring Rublev and Khachanov.