Davis Cup Group E: Kazakhstan, Netherlands

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5. Group E – Preview and Predictions

   • Kazakhstan, Netherlands

   • The Key Clashes

   • The Other Groups

Group E: Preview and Predictions

Kazakhstan

Best Davis Cup performance: Quarter-final, 2018 (5th time)

How they got here: Beat Portugal 3-1 in qualifying

Potential players: Mikhail Kukushkin, Alexander Bublik, Aleksandr Nedovyesov, Dmitry Popko

Three of Kukushkin’s four ATP finals have come indoors, so he should cause opponents problems at Caja Mágica. He also took Djokovic to a fierce five-setter in the 2015 Davis Cup. Kukushkin now has someone to help him carry the weight of the Kazakhstan side. Bublik has emerged to break the ATP top 50 this year, with the flair player offering an unpredictability that makes opponents’ lives difficult.

Netherlands

Best Davis Cup performance: Semi-finals, 2001

How they got here: Beat Czech Republic 3-1 in qualifying

Potential players: Robin Haase, Tallon Griekspoor, Jean-Julien Rojer, Botic van de Zandschulp

Haase has been the key Dutch player for several years, although he will arrive in Caja Mágica in poor form. The 32-year-old had been a fixture in the ATP top 100, but a 19/27 record this year has seen Haase plummet to 151. However, Haase’s Davis Cup record of 37/22 is good, while he also reached the 2013 Australian Open doubles final. This makes him the ideal partner for the veteran doubles specialist Rojer.

The Key Clashes

If Murray is fit, the doubles match with Kazakhstan could be the one that decides who tops the group. Bublik has a tricky style of play that could get under the skin of the other players, which could be enough to take Kazakhstan to the quarters. However, the weakness of the Netherlands side may also give the group’s eventual runner-up enough games and sets to progress.

1. Group A – Preview and Predictions

• France, Japan, Serbia

• The Key Clashes

2. Group B – Preview and Predictions

• Croatia, Russia, Spain

• The Key Clashes

3. Group C – Preview and Predictions

• Argentina, Chile, Germany

• The Key Clashes

4. Group D – Preview and Predictions

• Australia, Belgium, Colombia

• The Key Clashes

6. Group F – Preview and Predictions

• Canada, Italy, United States

• The Key Clashes