Twenty-four teams will compete in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Qualifiers on 6–7 March, with the ties played under a home-and-away format. The 12 winning nations will advance to the Finals 2020 where they will be joined by the four semi-finalists from the Finals 2019 (Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia) as well as two wild cards (France and Serbia). The 12 losing nations will compete in Zone Group action.
Croatia (1) vs India
Host nation: Croatia. Dom Sportova, Zagreb (Hard, Indoors)
Croatia finished third in Group B in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals this year. The 2018 champions will be pleased to include Marin Cilic when they host India, who beat Pakistan to win a place in the 2020 Qualifiers. The only meeting between the two nations dates back to the first round of the World Group in 1995 in New Delhi, with an Indian victory 3-2.
Croatia: Marin Cilic, Borna Gojo, Nino Serdarusic, Ivan Dodig, Mate Pavic
India: Sumit Nagal, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes
Hungary vs Belgium (2)
Host nation: Hungary. Fonix Hall, Debrecen (Clay, Indoors)
Hungary achieved a tight victory (3–2) over Ukraine in September to reach the Qualifiers, where they will face a Belgian team that missed out on the quarter-finals in Madrid after finishing second in Group D, behind Australia. The two teams have met on 13 occasions, with the balance favouring Belgium 8–5, including in their last duel, which finished with a Belgian victory in Liège in 2018.
Hungary: Marton Fucsovics, Attila Balazs, Zsombor Piros, Fabian Marozsan, Peter Nagy
Belgium: Kimmer Coppejans, Ruben Bemelmans, Arthur de Greef, Joran Vliegen, Sander Gille
Colombia vs Argentina (3)
Host nation: Colombia. Palacio de los Deportes, Bogota (Clay, Indoors)
With Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah – the best doubles pair in the world – on their side, Colombia fought hard in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, but finished third in Group D. Argentina advanced to the quarter-finals as one of the two best second-placed teams in the group stage, losing a dramatic doubles match against Spain. The ‘coffee’ team has never defeated Argentina in three previous meetings. Will it be fourth time lucky? With Cabal and Farah once more down to play, it could well be.
Colombia: Daniel Galán, Santiago Giraldo, Alejandro González, Juan Sebastián Cabal, Robert Farah
Argentina: Guido Pella, Juan Ignacio Londero, Leonardo Mayer, Horacio Zeballos, Máximo González
United States (4) vs Uzbekistan
Host nation: United States. Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu (Hard, Indoors)
The United States recorded an impressive victory over Italy in Group F in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, but lost for the first time to Canada, the eventual finalists, to miss out on the knockout stages. Uzbekistan defeated Lebanon (3–2) in the Group I qualifier in September to reach the Qualifiers. The two nations have only met once, in the 2015 play-offs in Tashkent, with a 3–1 win for the US. The strong team fielded by the US will add pressure on Uzbekistan.
United States: Bob Bryan; Mike Bryan; Taylor Fritz; Reilly Opelka; Tommy Paul
Uzbekistan: Denis Istomin, Khumoyun Sultanov, Sanjar Fayziev, Olimjon Nabiev
Australia (5) vs Brazil
Host nation: Australia. Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, Adelaide (Hard, Outdoors)
After finishing at the top of Group D ahead of Belgium and Colombia, Australia lost to Canada in the quarter-finals in Madrid. The Australians have a 3–0 record against Brazil, who recorded a comfortable 3–1 victory against Barbados in September to book their Qualifiers place for the second time in an attempt to debut in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals. The inclusion of Kyrgios and de Minaur makes for a very strong squad for Australia.
Australia: Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, James Duckworth
Brazil: Thiago Monteiro, Joao Menezes, Thiago Wild, Felipe Meligeni, Marcelo Demoliner
Italy (6) vs Korea, Rep.
Host nation: Italy. Circolo Tennis Cagliari, Cagliari (Clay, Outdoors)
Italy finished third in Group F in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals after their tight 2–1 losses to both Canada and the United States. In March, they will be host to South Korea. It is the second meeting between the two nations (with two Italian victories) and the first since 1987. The South Koreans defeated China 3–1 in September to reach the Qualifiers for the first time. Fognini's inclusion will give Italy a boost.
Italy: Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Gianluca Mager, Stefano Travaglia, Simone Bolelli
Korea, Rep.: Duckhee Lee, Ji Sung Nam, Yunseong Chung, Min-Kyu Song, Hong Chung
Germany (7) vs Belarus
Host nation: Germany. Castello Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf (Hard, Indoors)
Germany defeated Argentina and Chile in Group C to reach the quarter-finals at the Caja Mágica, where they lost to Great Britain 2–0, with victories for Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans. Belarus prevailed in the only previous encounter with the Germans, dating back to 2003, and defeated Portugal 3–2 in September to advance to the Qualifiers in 2020.
Germany: Jan Lennard Struff, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Dominik Koepfer, Kevin Krawietz, Andreas Mies
Belarus: Egor Gerasimov, Ilya Ivashka, Andrei Vasilevski, Alexander Zgivovsky, Martin Borisiouk
Kazakhstan (8) vs Netherlands
Host nation: Kazakhstan. National Tennis Center, Nur Sultan (Hard, Indoors)
Curiously, both teams starred in the first Group E duel in Madrid, with a 2–1 victory for Kazakhstan, a win that would prove insufficient to get to the knockout rounds of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals after a tight defeat to Great Britain. In March, the two nations will meet again, under the home-and-away format of the Qualifiers and fortune smiled on Kazakhstan as hosts.
Kazakhstan: Alexander Bublik; Mikhail Kukushkin; Aleksandr Nedovyesov; Andrey Golubev; Dmitry Popko
Netherlands: Robin Haase; Tallon Griekspoor; Botic Van De Zandschulp; Wesley Koolhof; Jean-Julien Rojer
Slovakia vs Czech Rep. (9)
Host nation: Slovakia. AXA Arena NTC, Bratislava (Clay, Indoors)
This is the first confrontation between these neighbouring countries since Slovakia first disputed the Davis Cup as an independent nation in 1994. In the absence of any background, the home venue for this tie had to be decided by lot. Slovakia made it through to the Qualifiers following an impressive 3–1 victory over Switzerland, while the Czechs defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 3–2.
Slovakia: Andrej Martin, Norbert Gombos, Jozef Kovalik, Filip Polasek
Czech Rep.: Jiri Vesely, Lukas Rosol, Zdenek Kolar, Vit Kopriva, Jonas Forejtek
Austria (10) vs Uruguay
Host nation: Austria. Steiermarkhalle Schwarzlsee in Premstätten, Graz (Hard, Indoors)
The Austrian number one, Dominic Thiem, helped his team to record a narrow 3–2 victory on their visit to Finland in September. The Uruguayans, meanwhile, defeated the Dominican Republic 3–1, to debut next March in the Qualifiers. It will be the second confrontation between these two teams, after the Austrians prevailed in Montevideo in 1994, 3–2.
Austria: Denis Novak, Sebastian Ofner, Jurij Rodionov, Olivier Marach, Jurgen Melzer
Uruguay: Pablo Cuevas; Martín Cuevas; Ariel Behar; Francisco Llanes; Franco Roncadelli
Japan (11) vs Ecuador
Host nation: Japan. Bourbon Beans Dome, Miki (Hard, Indoors)
Japan were on the verge of surprising France in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, but eventually finished third in Group A in Madrid. The Japanese will expect to be able to count on the contribution of their number one, Kei Nishikori, when they face Ecuador for the first time. The Ecuadorians booked their place in the Qualifiers thanks to a convincing 4–0 victory over Venezuela. With Kei Nishikori playing, Japan will have added confidence.
Japan: Kei Nishikori, Yoshihito Nishioka, Yasutaka Uchiyama, Go Soeda, Ben McLachlan
Ecuador: Emilio Gómez, Roberto Quiroz, Gonzalo Escobar, Diego Hidalgo, Cayetano March
Sweden (12) vs Chile
Host nation: Sweden. The royal Tennis Hall, Stockholm (Hard, Indoors).
Sweden defeated Israel 3–1 in September to advance to the Qualifiers, in which they will host Chile, who finished third in Group C in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, following defeats against Argentina and Germany. The teams have already met five times, with the balance favouring the Swedes 4–1, the last meeting being in 1985. The lonely Chilean victory in those duels dates back to 1959, curiously, on Swedish soil.
Sweden: Mikael Ymer, Elias Ymer, Markus Eriksson, Carl Soderund, Robert Lindstedt
Chile: Cristian Garín, Alejandro Tabilo, Tomás Barrios, Bastian Malla