Dutch tennis players can show how far they are in their development in the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals. Either way, Orange are only too happy to take on the underdog role in Glasgow this week.
And it is not surprising when the adversaries are called Kazakhstan (Tuesday) and especially Great Britain (Friday) and the United States (Saturday). The last two countries have top players with a lot of (grand slam) experience.
The orange team doesn’t have that singles routine yet, but with Botic van de Zandschulp (world number 35), Tallon groenpoor (48th) and Tim van Rijthoven (107th), Dutch men’s tennis matters again.
Add to that the fact that doubles specialists Wesley Koolhof, who lost the final at the US Open last weekend, and Matwé Middelkoop have been in the world top for years, and the conclusion that we can expect something from captain Paul Haarhuis’ team is a vindication.
the two best
The Netherlands must try to finish among the two best countries in their group. “We are definitely not the favorites to continue. It’s the United States and Great Britain,” Haarhuis said. “But I’m confident we can and will continue. That’s our goal.”
The Orange team last reached the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in 2005, which was then still played the old way with one home or away game per round.
Captain Haarhuis: “We are not favourites, but we will place ourselves”
Van de Zandschulp will be an important asset for Orange. De Veenendaler is a recognized specialist on hard courts, the surface on which the Davis Cup finals are played.
He said he needed time to recover from the grueling weeks in the United States. The long period and the disappointing results meant that Van de Zandschulp was no longer fresh at the US Open. He lost to New York in the second round.
The best tennis player in the Netherlands then took a few days off. For example, Van de Zandschulp went to the Go Ahead Eagles-Feyenoord football game and spent time with family and friends.
“I feel good about myself now. It may be strange that I say this after the US Open, but I think these days off have done me good. I didn’t think about tennis during a while,” Van de Zandschulp said.
He now wants to reach the quarter-finals of the country tournament with Orange. “We must hope to win secretly against the United States or Great Britain. A victory over Kazakhstan would in any case be a good start.”
Watch the interviews with Botic van de Zandschulp and Tim van Rijthoven in the carousel below:
In any case, Orange does not have to take Frances Tiafoe into account against the United States on Saturday. The US Open semi-finalist has withdrawn from the USA squad for the Glasgow tournament.
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”