Team captain Paul Haarhuis believes the tennis players are ready to win the Davis Cup ahead of the quarter-finals of next Thursday’s Davis Cup Finals in Malaga. The captain said: “We will certainly not be favorites against Italy with Jannik Sinner, who is playing very well, but we certainly do not have any chance.”
The Dutch tennis players qualified for the quarter-finals by defeating the United States in the group stage. “Talon Grykbauer has had a great year and feels confident, because he recently came close to beating Novak Djokovic. That affects you a lot.”
His tennis players are also stronger than they were two months ago when the team was preparing for the group stage. Greekpoor then decided to move towards the top 20 and Botic van de Zandschulp wanted to regain his rhythm. “Both were successful,” Haarhuis says. The most important thing according to the team captain is that they will go into the match with more confidence. “Last year, Tallon headed towards the top 90, and now he’s almost in the top 20. And that belief also makes you think: I’m fitter or better and I’m going to take this fight.”
The Davis Cup team lost to Australia in the quarter-finals last year. “Talon and Botic narrowly lost their match. I’ve adjusted our preparations a little bit. We’re now meeting early, which is counterintuitive, because these boys have had a very long year. It’s great that they have this dedication.”
According to Haarhuis, no team in the quarter-finals includes the best players ever. “It means you can lose to the No. 1 player and then have to beat the No. 2 player. And then you can still win. In singles we are the underdogs in terms of rankings against almost every country, but in doubles we are the favourites. Or at least equivalent. “
Assuming Jannik Sinner is the number one player in Italy and wins his singles match, Van de Zandschulp should win the second match. Haarhuis says she doesn’t know exactly who that opponent will be. “We are now analyzing the data from Lorenzo Musetti, Lorenzo Sonego and Matteo Arnaldi. We will discuss it with each other.”
But he is also cautiously hopeful that Sinner will not play in the Davis Cup Finals this week after his success at the ATP Finals. “If he wins in Turin, people around him might say it’s time to rest and he should focus on the Grand Slam next year. But the Italian national team will tell him that this is the chance to win the Davis Cup, if he participates.”
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