The match in Bologna comes at an important moment in the season for the best Italian players, Matteo Berrettini and Janek Sener, who seem to have finally given up many of the physical problems that characterized their matches in 2022. Matteo and Janic are among the top players. Eight players from the US Open, the last major tournament of the year, will face Norway’s Casper Ruud and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals respectively. For the sixth time in history, two Italian players have reached the quarter-finals at the same time in a Grand Slam tournament. It’s the second this year, always champions Brittany and Sener: At the Australian Open in Melbourne last January, Mathieu reached the semi-finals.
In New York to follow the Azzurri there is the captain of the Italian national team, Filippo Folandri. Among his bands, in addition to the aforementioned Berrettini and Sener, there are Simone Bolelli, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Mosetti and Jannick Sener. “We have Berrettini, who is back on the field today, and Sener in both the quarter-finals at the US Open – announced Volandri – two players in the quarter-finals at the Grand Slams who are a fantastic result that will give us more energy in light of the Bologna game. And that’s not all. … We must use in the right way the great enthusiasm we are seeing in Italy for our sport. I am sure that the Unipol Arena fans will be an additional weapon to face a group that promises to be very challenging, perhaps one of the most balanced, but at the same time very motivating.”
Croatia, who reached the final last year, had beaten Italy three of the previous four times, most recently in the Davis Cup quarter-finals at the Rakuten Finals a year ago in Turin. For the Bologna group, captain Vedran Martic called up former top 5 players Marin Cilic, who were eliminated in the second round of Flushing Meadows by Carlos Alcaraz, Borna Couric, who stunned everyone by recently winning the Cincinnati Masters 1000, Burna Gogo, in the Davis Cup. In Turin a year ago, the very strong doubles duo formed by Nikola Miktic and Matt Pavic.
Watch out for Argentina because Diego Schwartzman, who has been in the top 20 for three years now, is no longer the only player to watch. Captain Guillermo Correa, finalist at Internacional d’Italia (2005) and Roland Garros (2004), can count on Francisco Cerondolo and Sebastian Baez, both of whom can win the ATP title in 2022, respectively at Bastad and Estoril. As for the double, the reference is Horacio Zeballos, who is a constant pair in the track with Spaniard Marcel Granollers: the two are in full swing to qualify for the Nitto ATP finals in Turin. Besides him, Korea could catch up with another great specialist like veteran Maximo Gonzalez.
Compared to Argentina and Croatia, Sweden does not have the same abundance of top players. Captain Robin Soderling, who as the first player to defeat Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros, can only field two of the top 200 players, brothers Mikael and Elias Ymir. The team was completed by Jonathan Merida, Karl Freiberg and Andre Goransson, the Swede’s top 100 in the ATP rankings.