On 4–5 March, the excitement of the Davis Cup by Rakuten returns with the Qualifiers. 24 countries will compete on a home-and-away basis, with the 12 winners earning a place in the Davis Cup Finals 2022.
With less than two months to go, the drama of the Davis Cup will soon take centre stage once more in what promises to be a thrilling weekend.
Twelve cities around the world will host the twelve matches that guarantee the winners a place at the 2022 Finals. They will join the Russian Tennis Federation and Croatia, the 2021 winners and runners-up, as well as Great Britain and Serbia, who have earned wild card invitations.
Eight of the twelve Qualifiers have already announced their cities and venues. The remaining locations will be announced in the coming days and will be available here, so stay tuned.
All Qualifiers will be played over the best of five matches (four singles and one doubles), all of them in three sets.
FRANCE - ECUADOR
Palais des Sports, Pau, France. Hard, indoor
Team France, playing with home advantage, have chosen the city of Pau and hard court to host Ecuador. France, who have failed to make it past the group stage at the previous two Finals, will be looking to change their fortunes in 2022, but first they need to overcome a tough Ecuador team, who defeated Japan on home soil in the 2020 Qualifiers and proved to be fierce fighters on court in the 2021 Finals.
SPAIN - ROMANIA
Puente Romano, Marbella, España. Clay, outdoor.
Spain, winner of the Davis Cup Finals in 2019, will play for the first time in a Qualifiers round having been eliminated in the Group Stage of the 2021 Finals. They will do so as home favourites against Romania, with the clay of Puente Romano, at sea level, increasing their chances. The Romanians will face a tough challenge.
FINLAND - BELGIUM
Espoo Metro Areena, Espoo, Finland. Hard - Rebound Ace Synpave, Indoor
Finland will be playing at home and looking to reach their first Finals, confident in a new generation of players. But with only one of them in the top 100, the challenge won't be easy. Their opponents are none other than Belgium, Davis Cup finalists in 2015 and 2017. The presence of former World No.10 David Goffin in the Belgian team could be key to the outcome.
UNITED STATES - COLOMBIA
The United States will play at home. Venue and surface to be determined.
NETHERLANDS - CANADA
Sportcampus Zuiderpark, The Hague, Netherlands. Clay, Indoor
The Netherlands will be looking to make the most of their home advantage against Canada. The North Americans, with Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, would be favourites on paper, but the Netherlands have opted for clay to unsettle the 2019 Davis Cup finalists and will no doubt be counting on their ever-colourful fans in the stands. On the bench, a duel of captains and competition veterans: Frank Dancevic for Canada and the brilliant Paul Haarhuis, a former world No. 1 doubles player, for the Netherlands.
BRAZIL - GERMANY
Olympic Tennis Arena Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Clay, outdoor
The Brazilians are dreaming of reaching their first Finals after losing in the 2019 and 2020 Qualifiers. Will they make it this time? In their favour is home status and the choice of surface - they have opted for clay. Against them, they are facing a strong opponent in the form of Germany, semi-finalists in 2021. This is a high-stakes duel that is guaranteed to provide plenty of excitement.
SLOVAKIA - ITALY
NTC Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia. Hard - Greenset Confort, indoor
The Italian team, one of the strongest in the world, will be looking for a place in the 2022 Finals with Bratislava once again hosting a Qualifier. In 2020, the home side were unlucky in losing to the Czech Republic. In 2022 the challenge is complex, but nothing is certain. Italy will need to play their best tennis to avoid an upset.
AUSTRALIA - HUNGARY
Australia will play at home. Venue and surface to be determined.
NORWAY - KAZAKHSTAN
Oslo Tennis Arena, Oslo, Norway. Hard court, indoor.
This is Norway’s first attempt to reach the Finals, with Anders Haseth’s new generation of young players hosting the fearsome Kazakhs at home in Oslo. Kazakhstan has always shown a strong commitment to the Davis Cup and played with their customary fighting spirit in the Finals 2021, losing in a thrilling quarter-final battle against Serbia. Norway has a tough challenge ahead.
SWEDEN - JAPAN
Helsingborg Arena, Helsingborg, Sweden. Hard - Plexipave, indoor
After reaching the quarter-finals in the 2021 Finals, Sweden will be looking to build on their potential by reaching the Finals again. The draw handed them a golden opportunity in hosting Japan at home. But beware: Japan were knocked out of the 2021 Finals after a painful loss to Ecuador and their determination to return to the Finals is guaranteed.
ARGENTINA - CZECH REPUBLIC
Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Clay, outdoor
Argentina was one of the big absentees at the 2021 Finals and it’s something the players and fans won't want to repeat. But to qualify they have to overcome a team with the experience of the Czech Republic, a Davis Cup regular. The clay at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club could hold the key to this interesting Qualifier. Good tennis and entertainment are guaranteed.
SOUTH KOREA - AUSTRIA
Olympic Park Tennis Court - Indoor Court, Seoul, Korea, Rep. Hard - DecoTurf, Indoor
With one player – Soonwoo Kwon – ranked just outside the world top 50, the South Korean team is dreaming of making it into the top 16 in world tennis and into the Finals for the first time. The draw was a tough one for the Koreans, who will be fortunate to be playing at home but will host a far more experienced team in Austria.
More information coming soon.....