The 2019 Davis Cup World Group Finals continue in Madrid, Spain today and the avid tennis fans out there might have noticed a new format. Instead of playing the usual draw format throughout the season and finals at the end of the season, the eighteen teams make up six, three team round robin format groups and all the group matches, quarters, semis and finals take place this week between the 18th and Sunday 24th. The six group winners and two best second placed teams qualify for the knockout stages, which get underway this weekend and the final is scheduled to be played on Sunday 24th.
There are three teams who start their group campaigns today; in Group A Serbia, who are captained by Djokovic, take on Japan for the first time since the 1960’s when they were still part of Yugoslavia and Germany face Argentina for the tenth time today. Germany will attempt to halt a three rubber Davis Cup losing run against Argentina while, Great Britain will aim to extend their 4-0 head-to-head record against the Netherland to 5-0 today and Sir Andy Murray may make his first Davis Cup appearance for the first time in three years.
World number one Nadal could have been forgiven for bypassing the Davis Cup given his hectic schedule, but the ever professional Spaniard never shirks responsibility unless he’s injured and he answered Spain’s call this week and opened Spain’s account with a straight sets win against Russia’s Khachanov yesterday. Spain are in Group D action again today against Croatia ,who lost their opening singles rubber against Russia on Monday. There’s a potential blockbuster clash between Group F USA and Italy today, which is a big game for both teams in terms of second place as Group leaders Canada raced to a 2-0 start thanks to wins for Shapovalov and Pospisil yesterday. Finally, Belgium and Australia from Group E will fight it out for top spot today and the Aussies should prevail with De Minaur and Kyrgios heading their attack.