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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


The long 2018 ATP main Tour season has now finished and the players will now get a rare chance to take a proper break, rest and get proper treatment for any niggling injuries before commencing their 2019 season training. If World number one Djokovic continues to sharpen his game and improve further, he looks like he will dominate the majority of Grand Slams, especially if Nadal and Federer are carrying injuries and/or are not at their best. However, he may face stiffer competition in the Masters 1000 Series tournaments now the NextGen stars are starting to win and reach the finals of some of these tournaments.

The final major men’s tournament of the season the ITF Davis Cup finals get underway this Friday between reigning champions France and Croatia and the French have home advantage playing in Lille, indoors on clay. The two countries have experienced success in the tournament and have met twice before in the competition and the head-to-head stands at 1-1. France are the obvious favourites to defend their title as they have home soil advantage and a much bigger pool of world class singles and doubles players to call upon and they’ve opted for Pouille, Chardy and reserve Tsonga for the singles rubbers and doubles specialists and Grand Slam winners Mahut and Herbert.

Croatia rely heavily on Cilic and Coric for their singles rubbers, but also have some experienced doubles players to call on. The result is likely to be close with Croatia having the edge for the singles rubbers based on individual players form this season, but France will be expected to win the doubles rubber on Saturday. If both Cilic and Coric play anywhere near their best in their singles rubbers this weekend I think Croatia can go one better than their football team who lost this year’s World Cup final and be crowned Davis Cup champions on Sunday.

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