Davis Cup, Italy-Holland tomorrow: Sinner is a singles player for sure, Arnaldi-Musetti is doubtful for second


By John

The break for Italian tennis fans is almost over. After the ATP Finals binge with Jannik Sinner which thrilled and made an entire country dream, tomorrow it’s the turn of the Davis Cup. The blue player, number 4 in the world, returns to the field again, and with him the Italian national team who hopes to bring home the salad bowl after 47 years. The quarter of the Davis Cup Final Eight sees Italy on the pitch against the Netherlands starting from 10am tomorrow (live on Rai and Sky, streaming on Now TV, Rai Play and Supertennis). The first to face each other are the number 2 of the national teams. If coach Filippo Volandri has not yet released his reserve for Italy – he will have to choose one between Arnaldi (who the latest news says is the favourite), Sonego and Musetti – the Orange have no doubts: the first singles player to take to the field will be Botic Van de Zandschulp, number 51 in the world, returning from an unforgettable 2023 but in good shape: in recent weeks he has made the round of 16 indoors in Basel and Shanghai. Also in the team, but we are unlikely to see him on the pitch, is world number 171, Gijs Brouwer.
Afterwards, not before 12pm, it will be the turn of Jannik Sinner who will challenge the Dutch number 1, the 27-year-old Tallon Griekspoor, number 23 in the world and winner of two titles this year (Pune and ‘s-Hertogenbosch), with the final in Washington, one very strong on the fast indoor surface of Davis where he has won six of the last nine matches in this competition.
If the Azzurri do not resolve the practice in the first two matches, the doubles match will be decisive where the Netherlands fields perhaps the strongest couple of the competition: the 34-year-old Wesley Koolhof (n.8 in the specialty ranking and former n.1), eliminated in the group stage at the Nitto ATP Finals paired with Neal Skupski. In Davis he has always played with Matwe Middelkoop, 40 year old number 34 in the world in the specialty rankings, but for Malaga the orange captain, Paul Haarhuis, who was the greatest doubles player in the history of the Netherlands, has however called up another specialist, the 42-year-old Jean-Julien Rojer, 36 career titles and a Masters 1000 this year (in Toronto).
Volandri, in the absence of a real double starter, will once again have Jannik Sinner on the pitch paired with one of the other Italians (Lorenzo Musetti, Lorenzo Sonego, Matteo Arnaldi and Simone Bolelli) if it is the decisive match.