Ecuador, Australia, Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Colombia and the USA are through to the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, joining the four semi-finalists from 2019 (Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia) and the two nations that have received a wild card (France and Serbia).
The draw for the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals will take place at the ITF offices in London on Thursday 12 March at 16:00 GMT and will be livestreamed on DavisCup.com and DavisCupFinals.com. The 18 nations will be drawn into six groups of three teams. Spain and Canada, as 2019 finalists, will be seeded No. 1 and No. 2 respectively with seeds 3-6 determined by the Davis Cup Nations Ranking, which will be published on Monday 9 March.
Japan 0 - Ecuador 3
Possibly the stand-out surprise result of the Qualifiers weekend, Ecuador refused to be intimidated by Japan's superior ranking and home advantage. Captain Raul Viver's men finished day one 0-2 ahead thanks to exceptional performances from Emilio Gómez and Roberto Quiroz in the matches behind closed doors in Miki. This set them up on day two needing just one point from three matches to fulfil a historic victory that hands the team their ticket to the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in Madrid in November. Ecuador's previous best result was making the quarter-finals of the World Group in 1985.
G. Escobar / D. Hidalgo def. B. Mclachlan / Y. Uchiyama, 76(3) 63
Australia, 3 - Brasil, 1
Australia will be at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals for a second year in a row following a dramatic 3-1 victory over Brazil. The win was not as easy as the first day's finish of 2-0 predicted. In a vibrant three-hour match, Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligeni gave Brazil their first point in Adelaide by beating James Duckworth and John Peers. It was a triumph that allowed the Brazilians to continue with the tie.
And no less emotional was the duel between the two number ones, which was ultimately resolved in favour of John Millman in three tough sets. It was another victory in the purest 'Millman style': coming from behind and chipping away at his rival, Thiago Monteiro, who gave everything in an epic battle on court but it was not enough. Brazil will play the World Group I qualifier in September.
M. Demoliner / F. Meligeni def. J. Duckworth / J. Peers 57 75 76(6)
J. Millman def. T. Monteiro 67(6) 76(3) 76(3)
Kazakhstan, 3 - Netherlands, 1
Kazakhstan is the third team to qualify for the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals thanks to their 3-1 victory over Netherlands. The Kazakhs gave the Dutch few options to tear down the fortress that Nur-Sultan has become in recent years. The Dutch suffered a quick defeat in the doubles, where the Dutch captain had added a surprise by including number one, Robin Haase, along with Jean-Julien Rojer.
But play has not gone well for Paul Haarhuis, with the aggravating factor that, just half an hour after the conclusion of the doubles, Haase returned to face Alexander Bublik. The Dutchman could only endure the onslaught of the Kazakh in the first set; Bublik eased through the second. Kazakhstan will be one of the 18 teams that will be in Madrid in November while this year Netherlands, who were in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2019, will have to play in the World Group I qualifier in September.
A. Golubev / A. Nedovyesov def. R. Haase / J. Rojer 63 63
A. Bublik def. R. Haase 76(4) 61
Italy, 4 - Korea, Rep. 0
Italy is another nation that doesn't want to miss the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2020. This is their second consecutive inclusion among the 18 best teams in the world following a decisive victory over Korea, which should not come as a surprise given the disparity of rankings.
Entering the second day with a 2-0 advantage, Italy did not mess about and lined up their number one, Fabio Fognini, also a great doubles player (he has reached number 7 in the world) with their best specialist, Simone Bolelli. They dispatched Ji-Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song in short order. It was a strange tie for the players as, as in Japan, it was played behind closed doors due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Korea will now play in World Group I in September.
F. Fognini / S. Bolelli def. J.S. Nam / M-K. Song 63 61
S. Travaglier def. Y. Chung 60 61
Germany, 4 – Belarus, 1
Going into the doubles on day two of the tie in Düsseldorf, the scores were even at 1-1. Germany, playing the same team they used at the 2019 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals (where they lost in the quarter-finals to Great Britain) fielded doubles specialists Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies to face Ilya Ivashka and Andrei Vasilevski, the Germans winning in two sets to take the tie to 2-1.
Jan-Lennard Struff then faced Egor Gerasimov. Both had won their singles matches on day one, however the German’s superior ranking, paired with home advantage, served to secure Germany’s ticket to the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2020 for a second consecutive year.
K. Krawietz/A. Mies def. I. Ivashka/A. Vasilevski 64 76(5)
J. Struff def. E. Gerasimov 63 62
D. Koepfer def. D. Ostapenkov 60 62
Sweden, 3 – Chile, 1
Sweden welcomed Chile to the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm on day two with the scores standing even at 1-1. For their doubles match, Sweden fielded the experienced Robert Lindstedt and Markus Eriksson to face Marcelos Barrios and Alejandro Tabilo, the Swedes winning in straight sets to take the tie to 2-1.
Tabilo, who won his match against Elias Ymer on day one, this time came up against Elias’ brother Mikael in the singles. Any thoughts that his earlier doubles encounter would have put paid to his chances were forgotten as the Chilean went ahead, taking the first set.
Ymer, however, was not going to see the tie go to a fifth and final match. He took the next two sets to secure their ticket to Madrid for the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2020, an ambition of new captain Robin Soderling following Sweden's loss in the Qualifiers 2019 to Colombia.
M. Eriksson/M. Lindstedt def. M. Barrios/A. Tabilo 64 64
M. Ymer def. A. Tabilo 36 75 63
Austria, 3 - Uruguay, 1
This year, yes. Austria, who in 2019 failed to qualify for the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, losing at home to Chile, will be in Madrid in 2020. This time they weren't fazed by another South American rival, Uruguay, who had managed to close out the opening day 1-1.
In the doubles, Austria’s captain, Stefan Koubek, lined up specialists Oliver Marach and Jurgen Melzer to counter Ariel Behar and Pablo Cuevas. There was concern, however, when the Uruguayan pair took the first set. But the Austrians have a wealth of experience and managed to turn the scoreboard around to get Austria back in the lead (2-1).
Cuevas then returned to face Dennis Novak. And the Austrian number one, in the absence of Thiem, responded to the confidence of his captain with determined effort against the Uruguayan, who won the first set. Novak, however, much cooler than his rival, took the advantage to seal Austria's ticket to Madrid. Uruguay will play again in September in World Group I.
O. Marach / J. Melzer def. A. Behar / P. Cuevas 46 63 75
D. Novak def P. Cuevas 26 63 64
Croatia, 3- India, 1
Following the most epic of battles on day one in Zagreb, where India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan put up an incredible fight against world number 37 Marin Cilic, day two was always going to be a thriller.
Starting the day 2-0 down, India fielded their experienced doubles specialists Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes – at 46 the oldest player in the Qualifiers – to face fellow doubles experts Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor. It was another epic battle with neither side giving much ground. Bopanna and Paes took the first set before the Croatian pair battled back to level up, prompting a decisive third set, which the Indians won to take this memorable battle into a fourth match.
It was Cilic’s turn once again to take to the court, this time against Nagal Sumit, and he didn’t mess about, securing Croatia’s ticket to Madrid in just 56 minutes.
India's captain, Rohit Rajpal, said at the end of day one, "I'm proud of my boys as they played their best tennis". He certainly should be.
R. Bopanna / L. Paes def. M. Pavic / F. Skugor 63 67(9) 75
M. Cilic def. N. Sumit 60 61
Hungary, 3 - Belgium, 2
Hungary will debut in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in November after defeating Belgium in a duel that needed five matches to be resolved. In 2019 in Madrid, Belgium beat Colombia but lost to Australia in the group stage and failed to make it into the knockout rounds.
Belgium took the advantage thanks to victory for doubles pair Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen over Attila Balasz and Marton Fucsovics. But not even playing in the doubles could diminish the energy of the two Hungarian players, who were splitting all the matches between them. Balasz, supported by vocal fans in Debrecen, crushed an intimidated Kimmer Coppejans (who leaves Hungary with two defeats) and, in the fifth match there was little that Ruben Bemelmans could do faced with the force of Fucsovics. The Belgians will now play in World Group I.
A. Balazs / M. Fucsovics def. S. Gille / J. Vliegen 36 61 64
A. Balazs def. K. Coppejans 63 60
R. Bemelmans def. 67(7) 64 62
Slovakia, 1 – Czech Republic, 3
The neighbouring countries went into day two of their tie in Bratislava with the Czech Republic needing just one more point to secure their trip to the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in Madrid.
However, the Slovakian pair of Filip Polasek and Igor Zelenay, ranked significantly higher than their opponents, Jonas Forejtek and Zdenek Kolar, lost no time in putting their stamp on the match, getting down to business and forcing a fourth encounter.
Slovakia’s Andrej Martin, who had lost on day one took to the court against Jiri Vesely, who had beaten Martin’s compatriot Jozef Kovalik. It was a long and hard-fought match, with Vesely coming from 2-5 down in the second set to take it 7-5, keeping spectators guessing until the very end. Vesely eventually triumphed to take the Czech Republic to Madrid in November.
F. Polasek / I. Zelenay def. J. Forejtek / Z. Kolar 64 64
J. Vesely def. A. Martin 46 75 75
Colombia, 3 - Argentina, 1
The doubles at the Palacio de los Deportes in Bogotá was a dogged match. Colombia started the day as favourites having the current best pair in the world in Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah. They weren’t guaranteed an easy ride though, because on the other side of the net was another great specialist, Horacio Zeballos, number four in the world, accompanied by Máximo Gónzalez (42). There followed a tremendous duel that saw the Colombians pull ahead to take the tie to 2-1.
Daniel Galán then had the opportunity to become the local hero. And so it transpired, although Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero, assuming the role of leader after the last-minute withdrawal of Guido Pella, did not submit until the very end. But the thrust of the Colombian was unstoppable.
Colombia will once again be at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals (last year they lost both matches in the group stage, against Australia and Belgium) while Argentina, a quarter-finalist in 2019 in Madrid, will fight in September in World Group I.
J.S. Cabal / R. Farah def. H. Zeballos / M. Gónzalez 63 67(3) 75
D. Galán def. J.I. Londero 63 64
USA, 4 – Uzbekistan, 0
Farrukh Dustov and his team were a long way from home on their visit to Honolulu to try to make it past a strong USA team and into the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2020.
Uzbekistan had finished day one 2-0 down following Reilly Opelka’s defeat of Denis Istomin and Taylor Fritz’s dominance of Sanjar Fayziev.
It was a new day and time for the doubles. The problem for Istomin and Fayziev was that they were up against Bob and Mike Bryan, the most successful doubles pairing of all time. And the US quality showed with the brothers taking the match in just over an hour.
The USA will now head to Madrid in November where they will hope to improve upon their 2019 performance and reach the knockout stages.
In the run-up to the Qualifiers, the Bryan brothers also announced that they will be retiring after the US Open, and so this was their final Davis Cup appearance.
R. Bryan / M. Bryan def. S. Fayziev / D. Istomin 63 64
Details of all the matches and live results here