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Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz have been busy this year accomplishing wins for themselves and for men’s tennis. Now, they’ll try to win the US’s first Davis Cup title in 15 years this week – since 2007.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had the team to get it done, and I think right now this is one of the better teams we’ve had. Hopefully, this group of guys can put it together,” said Frances Tiafoe, who reached the US Open semi-finals in September.
In Malaga, Spain, the Davis Cup finals will be played, and today Australia and the Netherlands will play in the quarterfinals.
There are two big names missing from tomorrow’s Croatia vs. Spain encounter: Rafael Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, and Carlos Alcaraz, ranked No. 1. The Croatian team, conversely, features the only Grand Slam singles champion left in the tournament Marin Cilic, who won the US Open in 2014.
On Thursday, the US will face Italy and Canada will face Germany in the quarterfinals. Friday and Saturday will be the semi-finals, and Sunday will be the championship match.
Both of Italy’s top two players are injured. A foot injury has sidelined 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini, while a finger injury has sidelined three-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Jannik Sinner.
Fish’s roster features No. 9-ranked Fritz, who reached the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, and No. 19 Tiafoe, as well as doubles specialists Jack Sock and Tommy Paul.
In September, Team World beat Team Europe for the first time at the Laver Cup, with Frances Tiafoe beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win.
“Everybody’s healthy. Everybody’s hungry. The guys want to win for each other and play for each other and they’re really excited to kind of get going,” Fish said. “This is the best squad we’ve had in a long time.”
Davis Cup titles have been won by no nation more than the United States, with 32 (Italy’s lone title came in 1976).
“I really believe we can go out here and do something special,” Frances Tiafoe, the 24-year-old from Maryland said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We’re missing Thanksgiving and all that — and we’re trying to make it worth it. We’re definitely one of the better teams out there,” he added.