Tuesday, 21 November 2023, 08:27
Some of the world's best male tennis players will be on show this week as Malaga plays host to the 2023 Davis Cup Final 8, dubbed "the World Cup of tennis".
World number one and 24-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic will lead a star-studded lineup as eight countries vie for the trophy: Italy, Australia, Serbia, Finland, Canada, Great Britain, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Defending champions Canada will be the first to take to centre court at the Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena today. The squad, looking for back-to-back titles, looks very similar to the one that won last year, led by former world number six Felix Auger-Aliassime. He'll be joined by big-serving former top-three player Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau, and captain Frank Dancevic.
World number one arrives in Malaga
All eyes will be on the current world number one Novak Djokovic, who arrived in Malaga on Monday, less than 24 hours after his victory at the ATP end-of-year world championships in Turin. The tennis legend will look to help Serbia claim its first title since 2010.
Another star that's bound to be popular among fans will be Italian Jannik Sinner. The 22-year-old will look to seal the best year of his career so far with a victory at the Davis Cup, in what would be Italy's first triumph in 47 years. The Italian world number four could face Djokovic - who he lost to in the final at the ATP championships on Sunday - in the semi finals in Malaga if both countries win their opening ties.
Britain suffers injury blow
Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was forced to pull out from the Davis Cup and end his season after suffering a shoulder injury in training. It would have been a clash of two world number ones - one former and one current - with Murray scheduled to go head-to-head with Djokovic. Dan Evans, who played the most important role in Great Britain’s progression to the final eight, has also withdrawn from the competition. Evans suffered a season-ending calf injury last month. Cameron Norrie will lead the team.
Canada will play Finland on the round-robin tournament's opening day for a place in the semi-finals. Other quarter final games will be Czech Republic against Australia, Italy against the Netherlands and Serbia versus Great Britain. The final four teams will face-off in the semi-finals on Friday 24 November and Saturday 25 November, with the final to be played on Sunday 26 November.
Spain did not qualify for the Davis Cup finals after they were defeated by Serbia in Valencia in September. Despite the best efforts of Malaga's Alejandro Davidovich, he could not carry his side to victory and went down to Djokovic.
This is the second year Malaga is hosting the Davis Cup, exposing the city to millions of viewers worldwide. It comes after Seville hosted the women's tennis Billie Jean King Cup event for the first time earlier this month.
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