2015 Davis Cup: Australia or Great Britain?July 22, 2015

The quarterfinals of the Davis Cup is over, and tennis fans are already looking forward to the semifinals on September 18-20. Many predict that the winner will be Australia or Great Britain. One of these countries will host the finals, facing Argentina or Belgium. Both nations don't stand a chance on grass or carpet.

The Great Britain Davis Cup team reaches its first semifinals since 1981. Andy Murray was the hero of his team's 3-1 win over France. On the other hand, Australia's come-from-behind victory over Kazakhstan was a happy end to a troubled month, as the media have a field day over Bernard Tomic's ranting on Team Australia (TA) at Wimbledon. TA didn't invite him to Darwin, where the tie was played. Things took a downturn for the Gold Coast native, as he lost his opening match in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. It was followed by his arrest in Miami.

Hewitt, who plans to retire after the Australian Open next January, can't wish for a better end to his illustrious career. He teamed up with Sam Groth to win the pivotal doubles match. Both won the reverse singles the next day. Australia last hoisted the Davis Cup in 2003, and the Kenthurst native was part of that victorious team. Wally Masur has a difficult task ahead; Britain will host the tie, and Murray's performance in the US Open might influence the outcome. (If Murray reaches the finals, then he has only four days of rest.) There's no question about Hewitt's tenacity, but beating Murray in five sets may be a tall order.

How about the next generation of Australian tennis players?

The future looks promising for Australian tennis, with Nick Kyrgios in the forefront. He has been in the headlines on and off the courts in Wimbledon. Many accused him of tanking his fourth-round match against Richard Gasquet. The happenings affected him, resulting to his loss to Mikhail Kukushkin during the first day of the tie. Kyrgios can be a threat to Murray if he's in good form. The Canberra native thrives on the big stage, which the Davis Cup can provide. But he has been mercurial.

It comes down to Tomic, who has an outstanding record in Davis Cup play. TA extends an olive branch to him, hoping he'll travel back home and have a talk with them. (Tomic is defending his title in Bogota.) There's no doubt about Australia's chances if he'll be on board. The stakes are higher in this tie, with Murray wanting to add the Davis Cup to his CV. Moreover, it's been almost eighty years since Britain last won the event.

Who will win the play-offs?

There's an intriguing sideshow to the semifinals, as eight losing teams in the World Group first round ties will meet the eight winners of the Zonal Group I final round ties. The venue and surface have not been decided, but it's not hard to predict who will advance to the World Group next year.

Czech Republic will visit India this September. The Czech team will win this tie, unless the All India Tennis Association chooses clay. Switzerland will play host to Netherlands. If Stan Wawrinka is available, then the Swiss team has another chance of winning their second title next year. Japan will travel to Colombia, and the Japanese team's chances depend on Kei Nishikori. If he reaches his second finals in Flushing Meadows, then there might be trouble for the Japanese side. Uzbekistan plays host to the US, and they like their odds of making it to the World Group for the first time.

On the other hand, Russia, Germany, Brazil, and Poland are likely to prevail over Italy, Dominican Republic, Croatia, and Slovakia respectively. Who is your pick?

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