On paper, France and Serbia, two Davis Cup champions, should be fighting it out among themselves in Group A for a place in the quarter-finals. But Japan isn’t turning up just to watch.

Official team nomination: FRANCE

Gael Monfils

Benoit Paire

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Nicolas Mahut

Captain: Sébastien Grosjean

Official team nomination: SERBIA 

Novak Djokovic

Dusan Lajovic

Viktor Troicki

Filip Krajinovic

Janko Tipsarevic

Captain: Nenad Zimonjic

Official team nomination: JAPAN

Yoshihito Nishioka

Yasutaka Uchiyama

Yuichi Sugita

Taro Daniel

Ben McLachlan

Captain: Satoshi Iwabuchi

  • At first glance, the top spot in Group A, which awards direct access to the knockout stages of the competition, should be a tussle between two former champions: France and Serbia. But no one should overlook Japan, who are travelling to Madrid with the goal of winning their first Davis Cup title.
  • France is always a big favourite to lift the trophy. The last of their ten triumphs was in 2017. Last year, they made it to the final, securing their place in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals this year. Their best man in singles is Gaël Monfils and they always have strong doubles pairs.
  • Serbia, champions in 2010, are a tough contender in any sport. Their competitiveness and the team’s strong bond under the leadership of Nenad Zimonjić, one of the best doubles players in the world, along with the invaluable presence of world number one, Novak Djokovic, make them fearsome.
  • If players stay physically healthy, there will be some interesting duels in Group A, with Djokovic at the centre. His clashes with Monfils are always a spectacle for the crowd, despite the fact that the Frenchman has never been able to break him (15-0).

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Gael Monfils