The match in Bologna comes at an important moment in the season of the Italian top players, Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner, who finally seem to have put behind the many physical problems that have characterized their 2022. Both Matteo and Jannik have entered among the best eight players from the US Open, the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, and will face Norway’s Casper Ruud and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals respectively. For the sixth time in history, two Italian players simultaneously reach the quarter-finals in a Grand Slam tournament. It is the second this year, always protagonists Berrettini and Sinner: at the Australian Open in Melbourne last January, Matteo then reached the semifinals.
In New York to follow the Azzurri there is the captain of the Italian national team, Filippo Volandri. Among his squads, in addition to the aforementioned Berrettini and Sinner, there are Simone Bolelli, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner. “We have Berrettini, who returns to the field today, and Sinner both in the quarterfinals at the US Open – declared Volandri – two players in the last eight of a Grand Slam represent a great result that will give us even more energy in view of the Bologna match. And that’s not all… We must exploit in the right way the great enthusiasm that is experienced in Italy for our sport. I am sure that the Unipol Arena audience will be one more weapon to face a group that promises to be very tough, probably one of the most balanced, but at the same time very stimulating ”.
The opponents of Italy
Croatia, finalists last year, have beaten Italy three times in four previous ones, the most recent in the quarter-final of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals a year ago in Turin. For the Bologna group, captain Vedran Martic has summoned former top 5 Marin Cilic, eliminated in the second round of Flushing Meadows by Carlos Alcaraz, Borna Coric, who surprised everyone by recently winning the Cincinnati Masters 1000, Borna Gojo, revelation in the Davis Cup in Turin a year ago, and the very strong doubles duo formed by Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
Watch out for Argentina because Diego Schwartzman, who has been in the top 20 for three years now, is no longer the only player to keep an eye on. Captain Guillermo Coria, finalist at the Internazionali d’Italia (2005) and Roland Garros (2004), can count on Francisco Cerundolo and Sebastian Baez, both capable of winning an ATP title in 2022, respectively in Båstad and Estoril. For the double the reference is Horacio Zeballos, who in the circuit is a steady couple with the Spaniard Marcel Granollers: the two are in full swing to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. Alongside him Coria can field another great specialist such as the veteran Maximo Gonzalez..
Compared to Argentina and Croatia, Sweden does not have the same abundance of top players. Captain Robin Soderling, who as a player was the first to beat Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros, can only field two players in the top 200, the two brothers Mikael and Elias Ymer. The squad is completed by Jonathan Mridha, Karl Friberg and Andre Goransson, the only Swedish Top 100 in the ATP doubles ranking.CopyAMP code