Colombia to make their mark on tennis in this year’s Davis Cup
The only tennis tournament to really pit countries against each other, in a so-called ‘World Cup’ of tennis, is nonetheless not the most important tournament of the season. Players like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer often skip the Davis Cup with the excuse that it doesn’t fit in their schedule. The 2014 tournament, however, showed that the world’s best players recognise its importance when Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer took the crown for Switzerland, filling one of the few empty spaces in Federer’s trophy cabinet.
Colombia has long been on the sidelines of men’s tennis. Until recently, current team captain Mauricio Hadad reaching the 78th spot on the ATP ranking was the only moderate success enjoyed by the country on the court. But recent performances from Santiago Giraldo -Colombia’s best player, currently number 32 in the ATP rankings- alongside top-70 ranked Alejandro Falla and Alejandro Gonzalez, and the doubles team of Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah, have all put Colombia’s name firmly on the tennis map.
The next round of the Davis Cup will take place from March 6 – 8. With spicy meetings between Great Britain and the United States of America and Germany and France scheduled, the slightly less hotly anticipated Colombian team will take on Uruguay. On Montevideo’s gravel court, captain Hadad will lead the Colombian team in the first continental group, battling for a spot in the world group playoffs. ‘The Charruas’ are not going to be easy opponents with Pablo Cuevas – who is currently ranked a career high 23rd – as their leader.
In the best of five series, Giraldo and Gonzalez will probably be playing the single matches, while the team of Cabal and Farah will play the doubles match. Uruguay might be the slight favourite based on their home advantage but Colombia will be looking to extend their 7-6 all-time lead over Uruguay with another victory.
By Freek Huigen