Madrid: The Davis Cup Finals has been narrowed down to a star-studded group of eight teams following the conclusion of the round-robin action at tennis' premier international team competition.
The squads that secured their place in the quarter-finals from the six round-robin groups include Serbia and host Spain -- led by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, respectively -- as well as Great Britain, who almost certainly will require the heroics of three-time Grand Slam singles champion Andy Murray to win the title, reports Efe news.
Three of the other five remaining teams feature players who are not household names yet but have very bright futures. Denis Shapovalov, 20, is leading the way for Canada, while Alex De Minaur, also aged 20, and Nick Kyrgios head up a deep Australian side.
Karen Khachanov, 23, and Andrey Rublev, 22, meanwhile are part of promising generation of Russian players.
Yet another very talented young player, 19-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, also is on Canada's roster but has not seen any action due to an ankle issue and to the strong play of his replacement, Vasek Pospisil.
The quarterfinal line-up is rounded out by Germany and Argentina, who will hope their veteran players can pull off an upset. The first match of the final eight kicked off on Thursday night, with Group F winner Canada taking on Group D winner Australia.
The other three quarterfinal ties will be played on Friday: Group A winner Serbia versus Group B runner-up Russia, Group B winner Spain against Group C runner-up Argentina and Group E winner Great Britain vs Group C winner Germany.
For decades, different Davis Cup rounds were played throughout the season, with one team playing host to another squad up to and including the final.