Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to miss the tournament.
Rafael Nadal’s Spain will host defending champion Croatia in the Davis Cup finals with the 17-time major winner set to be the only member of the sport’s big four taking part in the controversially rebooted tournament.
Nadal, who has played in four Davis Cup-winning campaigns, has said he intends to take part in the new-look week-long event on home ground in Madrid from November 18-24.
However, long-time rivals Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be missing. Federer’s Switzerland didn’t qualify, Britain’s Murray has virtually retired while Djokovic has said he intends to focus on the ATP World Team Cup. That is despite Serbia having qualified as one of the 18 nations for the 2019 Davis Cup finals.
Despite its troubled revamp, Spanish football star Gerard Pique, whose Kosmos company is pouring $3 billion into a 25-year deal with the 119-year-old tournament, insisted at Thursday’s draw that the new Davis Cup will be a success.
“This means a lot, we have been working for more than a year, and we have created a great team to carry out this project,” Pique insisted.
Nadal, a Davis Cup champion in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, will likely face Marin Cilic, Croatia’s top player who won both his singles in the 2018 Davis Cup final victory over France.
Russia, the two-time champion, makes up Group B. Ten-time champion France, 2010 winner Serbia and Japan contest Group A while 2016 victor Argentina, Germany and Chile are in Group C.
Argentina will be sweating over the fitness of regularly-injured Juan Martin del Potro while Germany could be without World No. 3 Alexander Zverev.
The ATP World Tour Finals champion played in last weekend’s qualifying round win against Hungary but has long insisted he has no interest in playing in the November finals, claiming he prefers to rest.
Group D sees Belgium and Colombia pooled with 28-time champions Australia while Britain, which has been champion on 10 occasions, Kazakhstan and Netherlands makes up Group E.
Group F sees record 32-time winners United States clash with Italy and Canada.