After the elimination in the quarter-finals last season, Italy will try to do better in the 2022 Davis Cup . It will start this weekend at the NTC Arena in Bratislava with the preliminary round against Slovakia. To advance to the group stage in November / December, at least three matches between the four singles and the doubles must be won (all matches will be best of three sets).
Given the absence of Matteo Berrettini, who had asked for exemption from this commitment even before being injured in Acapulco, the captain of Italy will be Jannik Sinner. Lorenzo Sonego, Lorenzo Musetti, Stefano Travaglia and Simone Bolelli will take part in the trip to Slovakia with the South Tyrolean. In addition to Berrettini, Fabio Fognini will not be present , struggling with physical problems and subsequently replaced by Travaglia.
The opponents will not be top-level, but attention must be kept high throughout the weekend. The greatest danger in singles matches is represented by Alex Molcan, n.69 in the ranking. The Presov native has improved tremendously over the past year, gaining more than 200 positions on the ATP rankings (March 3, 2021, he was number 286 in the world).
Together with him we will find the other singles Norbert Gombos (# 110 ATP) and Filip Horansky (# 208) and doubles players Filip Polasek and Igor Zelenay (numbers 13 and 145 respectively in the doubles ranking). If on the one hand Gombos and Horansky seem to start far behind our Azzurri, on the other Polasek and Zelaney worry in view of the double. Above all, the 1985 class is in fact a great doubler and has already won 17 career titles in this specialty.
On paper , Italy will therefore start favored, but be careful not to let your guard down. Despite apparently weaker opponents, it will be necessary to play with the right determination to avoid nasty surprises. We will start on Friday with the first two singles, while on Saturday the double will be played immediately and then eventually the last two singles will take place.