Davis Cup final 8 set as United States and Spain miss out

(Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images for ITF)
(Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images for ITF) /

We learned quite a bit during this past week’s Davis Cup. One is that a couple of countries might have some top-end talent but not as much depth of quality as we thought. This is looking at you, United States, and you, Carlos Alcaraz-less Spain. But we learned that Finland has a couple of good players, and one, Otto Virtanen, who might be about to become a big-time player on the ATP tour.

Virtanen won all three of his singles matches at the Davis Cup for Finland which propelled his team to a surprise spot in the Final 8. Virtanen is only 22 years old and currently ranked 126 in the world, but he played like a top-ten player. He has won zero titles and has only been involved in 13 ATP-level matches in his career, but one has to think 2024 is going to be a more successful year for him.

The Netherlands also got themselves into the Final 8 on the strength of their doubles teams. The Netherlands has no top-20-ranked players in singles. But they are tricky because of the versatility of the team.

Davis Cup Final 8 is now set for late November

Czechia is also a bit of a surprise to make the Final 8, but they also didn’t lose a point this past week. That is so even though they played in a group with Serbia and Spain (again, no Carlos Alcaraz for Spain, however). Jiri Lehecka won all three of his singles matches. Like Virtanen, Lehecka might be a player to watch on the tour in 2024. He is only 21 years old and currently ranked 30.

Canada was also a bit of a surprise to make the Final 8. Of course, the Canadians have some excellent players, such as Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, but neither was available for Canada. Instead, they got by with Gabriel Diallo and Alexis Galarneau. They could be dangerous in late November when the Davis Cup finals are held.

Great Britain, Italy and Australia weren’t surprises to make the Final 8. All those teams have high-end talent and depth. Britain did have to beat France to get to the finals, however, and there were some extremely intense matches you should go back and watch.

Serbia rounds out the Final 8. Of course, Serbia has a cheat code in the form of Novak Djokovic. As long as Djokovic is on the team, Serbia has a puncher’s chance to win the Davis Cup.

The Davis Cup finals will be held from November 21 through 27. If you want to go see the finals (and why wouldn’t you?), you will need to get to Malaga, Spain. The draw for the quarterfinal matchups for the Final 8 will be held on September 19.

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