Great Britain eyes to beat Colombia in a tricky Davis Cup 2023 qualifiers

The Davis Cup has been a difficult competition to keep up with in recent years. Ties of the tournament are no longer played on several weekends throughout the year to see which team reaches the final. Instead, there are qualifiers (February 3-5), a group-stage week (September 12-17), and finals week (November 21-26).

Matches have also been shortened to best-of-three sets and the home-and-away format has been scrapped in favor of playing the group matches and finals in different cities around Europe.

The competition starts this week with qualifying matches being played around the world. The 12 winners from the qualifying matches will advance to the group stage in September, which takes place across four venues in Spain. From the group stage, eight nations will advance to the finals in November.

Each qualifying tie consists of five best-of-three set matches played over two days, two singles on the first day and then one doubles, and two more singles on the second day. The winner is the nation that wins three or more matches.

Team Great Britain will play hosts Colombia on February 3 at the Pueblo Viejo Country Club, Cota and without former world No.1 Andy Murray and Jamie Murray. Great Britain would face a tricky test as they bid to reach the finals for a fourth year in a row. After starting the new season on hard courts in Australia, the Great Britain team will now play on clay, and at high altitude.

Team GB has a stronger line-up with three top-40 ranked singles players, world No.12 Cameron Norrie, world No.30 Dan Evans, and world No.38 Jack Draper. They also have two of the best doubles players in the world, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski.

On the other hand, Colombia has quality in the doubles with two-time Grand Slam champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, but their highest-ranked singles player is world No.70 Daniel Galan. Colombia does not have another player in the top 200. The hosts will be hoping the conditions will help them to win the qualifier.

GB captain Leon Smith admitted that the most obvious hurdle is the altitude in Colombia. Smith said the altitude brings pressure-less balls, which his players never play with. The ball is flying so much faster through the air so every player has the need to adapt. Britain failed to qualify for the quarter-finals last year following defeats by the USA and the Netherlands. Team GB lost won the Davis Cup in 2015.