Davis Cup 2013: Players to Watch in Tournament's Upcoming Action

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Davis Cup 2013: Players to Watch in Tournament's Upcoming Action
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY
Philipp Kohlschreiber is a dangerous player.

The Davis Cup offers a great platform for unknown players to make themselves known to the world, as well as offering them the chance to take on some of the world's best. There are some interesting matchups to come and good players to keep an eye on.

Serbia face Canada in the semifinal to decide who will play either Czech Republic or Argentina in the final. However, there is plenty of excitement elsewhere in the World Group playoffs, including Great Britain battling Croatia.

Below are three unheralded players to watch in the upcoming matches.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

 

Tommy Robredo, Spain

Robredo has been as high as No. 5 in the world, a rank he achieved after winning the Hamburg Masters in 2006. 

However, he will be more familiar to British fans as the man who ended Dan Evans' recent US Open run in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Robredo has a useful combination of experience and baseline power and an ability to claw his way back into games from positions that seem to suggest imminent defeat. As the senior player, he will be controlling the partnership in his doubles match with Marc Lopez as they look to assert dominance over their lesser-ranked Ukrainian opponents.

 

Colin Fleming, Great Britain

Fleming fell just short of a historic Masters Series doubles win this year but will again team with Andy Murray as they take on Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic of Croatia. 

Usually Murray would stamp his authority on the game, but the extent of his back injury is still unknown. A greater responsibility will now fall on Fleming, and he will need to use all his doubles experience to overcome Dodig and Pavic.

Although Murray and Fleming never played together before the Masters Series, they have a good understanding because they have known each other since childhood. 

If Murray's injury is a burden, it's going to be Fleming who has to force the game from the baseline while Murray keeps his back in check, taking the majority of touch shots at the net.

 

Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany

Kohlschreiber is another experienced campaigner who has mostly gone under the radar, despite some impressive performances.

He has previously faced accusations that suggest he has no "fight" because he chose to retire early. This wasn't helped by his fifth-round exit at this year's Wimbledon, where he left the court due to exhaustion and never returned.

However, the German has risen to a high of No. 16 in the singles rankings as recently as 2012. That year he also reached the quarterfinal of Wimbledon. In 2009 he beat Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

He faces Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, an opponent who has suffered a dip in form but remains dangerous. Bellucci was World No. 21 in 2010 but has dropped to 116 since then. 

Kohlschreiber will look to use his strong backhand to keep the rallies short, forcing winners past Bellucci.

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