Davis Cup Finals 2023: Five-man squad announced for Great Britain’s qualifier against Colombia
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Great Britain Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith, has submitted the list of five players who will take on Colombia in the Davis Cup Finals Qualifiers from 3-4 February.
The Brits will have to defeat the Colombian’s to qualify for the Finals in September this year. The tie will be player as a best of five rubbers over two days, on the clay courts of the Pueblo Viejo Country Club, just outside Bogota.
Let’s meet the British team heading to Colombia in February:
- Age: 27
- Ranking: 14
- Davis Cup ties played: 8
- Davis Cup record: 5-5
Norrie is flying so far in 2023, coming off the back of his best season to date – winning two titles, reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals and breaking into the world’s top 10 for the first time. He started this year off representing Great Britain at the United Cup, where he won all three of his matches, including victories over Alex de Minaur, Taylor Fritz and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Playing as Britain’s No.1 singles star at the 2022 Finals in Glasgow, Norrie had mixed results. He started with an incredible 2-6, 7-6, 7-5 comeback win over world No.9 Fritz, but lost out to Botic Van de Zandschlup and Alexander Bublik in his last two rubbers.
Having already made an impressive start to the season, Norrie will be hoping the lead the Brits back to the Finals. Notably for the British team, Norrie won his first title on clay last year in Lyon, which could be key playing in Colombia.
- Age: 32
- Ranking: 27
- Davis Cup ties played: 21
- Davis Cup record: 11-19
Britain’s most experienced Davis Cup player in the squad, Evans has been in strong form over the last six months. The 32-year-old closed out the second half of the year by reaching his second ATP Masters semi-final in Montreal, which was then followed up by another semi-final in San Diego and then quarters in Antwerp and Vienna. Already this year, he has picked up a good win over world No.39 Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the United Cup and came within touching distance of beating 2022 US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe.
Evans has been in and out of the squad since 2009 and knows exactly what it takes to win, having played his part in the historic 2015 title triumph. At the 2022 Davis Cup Finals in Glasgow, Evans lost a tight opener against world No.32 Tommy Paul, but dominated Tallon Griekspoor in the Brits tie against the Netherlands.
- Age: 21
- Ranking: 42
- Davis Cup ties played: 0
- Davis Cup record: N/A
One of the rising stars in world tennis right now, Draper fired himself up over 200 places in the rankings last year. Having started the year with four ATP Challenger titles, Draper enjoyed a year of many firsts, including an ATP semi-final debut at the Rothesay International Eastbourne, his maiden Masters quarter-final in Canada and becoming the first British player to ever qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals – where he made the semi-finals.
Draper could be set to become the latest LTA Colour Holder in Bogota if he were to make his debut for the British team.
- Age: 33
- Ranking: 1 (doubles)
- Davis Cup ties played: 7
- Davis Cup record: 4-3
Coming off the back of the most decorative year of his career so far, joint ATP doubles world No.1 Skupski is becoming a regular addition to the Great Britain team, as he’s set to make his fourth Davis Cup appearance this year.
The 33-year-old’s rise to the world’s top spot was thanks to his remarkable form last season, which resulted in the Brit lifting three ATP Masters 1000 titles and four other tour-level trophies last season alongside Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof.
Skupski has quickly become accustomed to Davis Cup ties, recording some memorable wins in his rubbers against Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands in previous years.
- Age: 30
- Ranking: 4 (doubles)
- Davis Cup ties played: 6
- Davis Cup record: 2-4
Salisbury comes into the Davis Cup after a memorable year on the ATP doubles tour which has seen him become Britain’s most successful men’s doubles player in the Open Era, with three Grand Slam titles.
Salisbury revelled in a year of success in 2022 alongside American doubles partner Rajeev Ram. The world No.4 added two ATP Masters 1000 titles to his trophy cabinet before an incredible run of form led him to be crowned US Open doubles champion and Nitto ATP Finals champion in the tail end of the season.
The 30-year-old recorded a significant win at last year’s Davis Cup, where he teamed up with Skupski to face Alexander Bublik and Alexsandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan. In what was a hard-fought battle of fine margins, the Brits overcame the Kazakhstani duo 7-6, 6-7, 7-6.
Despite only being a few days into 2023, Salisbury has already made it to his first ATP 250 semi-final of the year at the Maharashtra Open and is set to be a dominant force in his upcoming Davis Cup ties.