Britain poised for USA challenge

This weekend’s mouth-watering tie on the clay of San Diego is sure to be an interesting watch. The USA, giants of the sport but no longer among the top dogs, entertain Great Britain, back in the Davis Cup World Group. There will be some big-hitting on the clay, which makes for tantalisingly good tie. I, for one, massively look forward to it.

Leon Smith has opted to select Kyle Edmund in the singles and it seems that he’ll get the nod over James Ward, who’s also been selected. The Yorkshire lad has excelled recently by winning a clay Futures event in, incidentally, the USA, dropping just one set, making him the current world No 336. Form on clay and consequently bags of confidence make him a good pick. His inclusion in the squad comes at the expense of Dan Evans, who we know is clearly capable of an upset or two.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray is also in the team. The Scot has fluctuated in and around the top four for the past few years but this week’s newly-released ATP rankings following the conclusion of the Australian Open put him as the world No 6, his worst ranking since 2008. Anyway, onto the Davis Cup, Murray has conceded that the tie being on clay isn’t ideal for him as he gets back to his best after surgery. Nevertheless it will be a fascinating test for him and, after all, GB look a whole lot better with him in the side.

In the doubles, Dom Inglot is an option, fresh from Melbourne where he was the best-performing Brit in the doubles event, and in his first Davis Cup squad. However, Colin Fleming and Andy Murray are expected to take the lead to face the daunting task of a best-of-five-sets face-off with the imperial Bryan brothers. The Scottish pair have experience together, last year they reached the Montreal Masters final and beat Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic of Croatia in the Davis Cup.

The USA can call on world No 13 John Isner, world No 49 Sam Querry and the doubles team that don’t require any introduction, the Bryan brothers. The most successful Davis Cup nation currently lie in 6th place in the Davis Cup rankings, while Britain are 16th. Jim Courier’s side fell in the quarter-finals to Serbia last year, while Leon Smith led GB to a return to the World Group.

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