Saturday’s Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals Group Stage tie between United States and Netherlands from 2pm BST will determine who finishes top of Group D.
What’s at stake
With both USA and Netherlands having beaten Great Britain and Kazakhstan to book their spots in the Final 8 heading to Malaga in November, the one remaining matter of note in Group D is which nation finishes in top spot and who advances as the runner-up.
And there is good reason, on paper, to want to win the group: with the draw for the Knockout Stage already set, the Dutch and Americans know that the winner of Group D will face the loser of Australia’s Group C clash with Germany on Sunday, while the runner-up is likely to meet Italy, which is on course to top Group A.
This will be the third meeting between USA and Netherlands. It is 25 years since the sides met for the second time in the 1997 quarter-finals, a match that saw current Dutch captain Paul Haarhuis collect Netherlands’ only match win in doubles alongside Jacco Elthingh in a 4-1 defeat.
The Americans also prevailed 3-2 in 1994, with Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi contributing to the victory.
Who to watch out for
Tommy Paul has been a revelation for USA in Glasgow. With a well-earned reputation as a shotmaker, his movement has been the most eye-catching aspect of his game in wins over Great Britain’s Dan Evans and Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.
That said, watch out if Tallon Griekspoor gets the nod in the No.2 spot for the Dutch, as he edged past Paul in three tight sets on clay in Geneva earlier this year.
Botic Van de Zandschulp comes into the match 24 hours after playing what he described as an “almost perfect” match against world No.8 Cameron Norrie for his third top-10 win of the season. The assignment won’t be any easier against Taylor Fritz, the world No.12, who bounced back from an opening defeat by Norrie to grind out a victory over Alexander Bublik on Thursday.
Having gained some measure of revenge against Great Britain's Joe Salisbury for his defeat in the recent US Open doubles final, Wesley Koolhof may well have the chance to try to beat the Briton's regular partner, Rajeev Ram, just 24 hours later.
What the teams are saying
Returning to the same court a day after defeat is not something players face often on Tour, but Fritz sees nothing but positives in the situation.
“If anything, it's better I'd say,” he said. “You don't get to play yourself into a tournament if you lose early. I always feel like once I play a match on the court, I'll always come back the next day and I'll feel better and get used to the conditions.”
As for the kind of match Botic Van de Zandschulp expects in his first singles meeting with Fritz, the Dutchman said, “He's serving well, hitting the ball well from the baseline, and can hit winners from everywhere, I think. Yeah, it's going to be a good match.”
The prize on offer is not lost on Netherlands captain Paul Haarhuis as he looks ahead to Malaga in November: “This is very big for us. Whoever finishes first, on paper, has a much better draw. It’s fantastic that we qualified, that was our main goal, but one tie decides whether we finish on top, and we’re going all in.”
If this is to be Bob Bryan’s last tie as USA’s captain – at least for now – the stand-in has had a great time on the bench. “It’s fun. I love being out there with the guys and seeing that tennis up close, and trying to keep their energy up. I’m doing what I can, but these guys are all such great competitors and such great players I'm in awe of the tennis they're playing out here this week.”