Top 5 Nations that FAILED to Qualify for the 2018 World Cup

The Russian national team is waiting for the Italians

Just two days ago, the Russian national team performed a feat in the match with the Spaniards in the Davis Cup, and on Tuesday the next rival of the Russians in the battle for the return to the world group was determined. 16 teams participate in the playoffs: eight got there after losing in the first round of the world group, four withdrew from the European-African group, two from the Asia and Oceania group and two more from the Americas. The first eight on the rating received seeded status. Seven of these teams have played in the World Group this season. The exception was Slovakia from the first group, which at the last moment bypassed the Brazilians.

Among the possible rivals of the Russians were the Swiss - the reigning champions, the Czechs - the leaders of the Davis Cup rating list, the Americans - the most titled team in the history of the tournament, and also teams from Japan, Italy, Germany, Croatia and Slovakia. There were no frankly simple options. In a sense, the Slovaks would be a little more successful, but still their leader Martin Klizan is in the rating higher than any of the Russian tennis players. Individual teams are highly dependent on their leaders. Neither Roger Federer, nor Stanislas Wawrinka played for the Swiss immediately after the victory in the world group. It is not known what lineup they will have in September. The Japanese national team has Kei Nishikori injured, and without him it will be a different team. There are two months until the next matches, so it was not easy to determine in advance which draw will be successful or not. It is curious that out of eight potential rivals, only two Russians have not yet met in the current century - with the Japanese and Italians.

The ball with the inscription Russia was reached by the third pair. The rivals of the Russian team were determined by the Italian national team. We haven't played with Italians for 19 years. The last match took place on the road in Rome, respectively, the next one will take place in Russia.

The Italian team has managed to gain a foothold in the world group only in the last three years. They spent four seasons in a row there, making their way to the semi-finals last year, where they failed to cope with the future champions - the Swiss. In terms of performances for the team, the leader was Fabio Fognini , who beat Andy Murray in the Davis Cup quarterfinals last year. In this drawing, Fabio performed unsuccessfully. In the first round of the Italians away in Kazakhstan, it came to the fifth match, in which Fognini could not cope with Alexander Nedovesov.

All World Group Playoffs:

Russia - Italy .

India - Czech Republic .

Switzerland - Netherlands.

Uzbekistan - USA .

Colombia - Japan .

Dominican Republic - Germany .

Brazil - Croatia .

Poland - Slovakia .

Seeded teams are highlighted in bold.

According to the rating, Fabio (32nd in the world) is the second in Italy, above him is Andreas Seppi (24th in the world). Also regular members of the team are Simone Bolleli (No. 63 in the world) and Paolo Lorenzi (No. 85 in the world). The upcoming visit to Russia will not be the first for any of the above Italian players. Italians almost always have a solid representation in the Kremlin Cup.

Historically, the Italians are not very comfortable opponents for the Russian (USSR) national team. The Italians lost only one of five head-to-head meetings. Four out of five matches took place in the sixties. Then Nicola Pietrangeli played brilliantly for the Italian national team. Although there were embarrassments with him. In 1968, in front of his audience, he managed to beat Alexander Metreveli in just one game in three sets. True, the overall result of the meeting was still for the Italians.

The last match between these teams took place in 1996 in Rome. 21-year-old Yevgeny Kafelnikov then managed to win both singles, but in the decisive match Renzo Furlan defeated Andrey Chesnokov . It is curious that the Italian national team won all the victories at home, and suffered the only defeat away. In 1969 in Moscow, the USSR national team defeated the guests - 5-0. The tendency of home wins is a good one for the Russians, because in September we will host the Italian team. The game will be held from 18 to 20 September.

The results of the draw were commented on by the captain of the men's team and the president of the RTF ... The rest must be thought - where, in what conditions everything should be organized, so that the conditions suit us and at the same time complicate their life. We can lay any kind of court, it's not a problem. The main thing is to decide on a place. I need to talk to the players first, so I don't want to guess. Naturally, I know what I want. But without talking with the players, it makes no sense to say this in advance, - Tarpischev said in an interview with the Championship.

In addition to the Russian match, two more European derbies will take place in September. The Swiss will host the Netherlands team. Here, almost everything will depend on the composition of the hosts. Without their leaders, they won't have a chance to beat the Dutch team. The Poles have a good chance to enter the world group for the first time, who will play against Slovakia on their site.

Also, for the first time, the Dominican Republic team is counting on getting into the elite division, to which the Germans will come to visit. The owners have the whole team based on Victor Estrella-Burgos, who holds the record for the team in literally every respect. Once again, the team of Uzbekistan, to which the Americans are to come, will try to get through the playoffs of the world group. And the first seeded Czechs will travel to India. In addition, it is worth noting the meeting of the Brazilians and Croats, because both teams started this Davis Cup in the world group. And, finally, in one more game the Colombians will host the Japanese.

It is difficult to think in advance about the possible outcomes of the matches due to the great dependence on the squads in which the teams will appear. Note that the playoff matches will be held next week after the Openth US Championship. Simultaneously with the battles for entering the world group, two Davis Cup semi-finals will take place, in which the Belgians will host the Argentines, and the British - the Australians.

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