2016 Davis Cup World Group: Which Teams Will Advance to the Semifinals?March 11, 2016

Australia's loss to the US at Kooyong reminded hometown fans of their team's loss to the French squad fifteen years. It was the finals of the Davis Cup. This one was the first round tie. Perhaps Tennis Australia should consider hard court for the play-offs this September.

Bernard Tomic was understandably frustrated during his match against John Isner, whose serves were almost unreturnable. What was supposed to be a heated conversation inside the locker room turned into headline news. It was Lleyton Hewitt's first appearance as captain of the Australian Davis Cup team, and he would put this loss behind quickly.

The quarterfinals and semifinals of the Davis Cup will be held during the summer. The Olympics will take place between Wimbledon and the US Open. Fitness will be a factor, and it can influence the outcome. Let's assess it:

Great Britain versus Serbia. Although Serbia will host this tie, their chances of winning will depend on Novak Djokovic. If he is healthy, then expect him to lead the Serbian team to the semifinals. But anything can happen. (Djokovic retired during his quarterfinal match against Feliciano López in Dubai. He had an eye infection.) On the other hand, Andy Murray showed that he could risk injury by playing for three straight days. And the British team were rewarded with their fist Davis Cup since 1936. Great Britain will win this tie by the score of 3 rubbers to 2.

Argentina versus Italy. The Italians were too much for the Swiss team. Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka couldn't be blamed for not playing in Pesaro, as they would play singles, doubles, and mixed doubles in Rio de Janeiro. The Italian will choose the clay court (for the quarterfinals). The Argentinians are no slouch on dirt, but they rather play on hard court. Italy will advance to the semifinals by the score of 4 rubbers to 1.

Czech Republic versus France. This is an intriguing tie, where Yannick Noah might do a gamble. Will he include Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the line up? The Czech team will likely choose the indoor hard court, and Tomáš Berdych and Radek Štěpánek have experience on their side. Mahut and Herbert, the reigning US Open champion, might have a slight advantage. France has four players in the Top 20, the most by any nation. Fatigue may affect their form, though. The Czech Republic, back-to-back champion in 2012 and 2013, will beat France by the score of 3 rubbers to 2.

Croatia versus United States. After losing in the first round for two straight years, Jim Courier was glad to see his squad advancing to the last eight. And they will host their quarterfinal tie. It will be held on the hard court, which will suit the Croatian team. The Americans would prevail if they show the same form they did in Kooyong. It's US over Croatia by the score of 4 rubbers to 1.

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