Great Britain to face USA in the Davis Cup this weekend
Great Britain are finally back in the Tennis World Group and are facing the United States in its first top-flight home tie since 2002, and there are two Murrays in the team for the first time in four years with GB having an even chance of repeating last year’s memorable victory over the US in San Diego.It is 13 long years since Britain last had a home World Group tie to promote.The Swedish team of Thomas Enqvist and Thomas Johansson snuffed out GB’s aspirations that year as they won both final day singles against Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.
It is simplistic to say that high-profile home Davis Cup ties will boost the sport’s flagging participation levels, but British success and greater exposure to what can be a thrilling format has to be in the long-term interests of the sport.There is also the prospect of a home quarterfinal in July against France or Germany, should Britain come out on top at the Emirates Arena over the next three days.
Tennis betting experts say there is the potential for unpredictable results throughout this first-round tie even if Andy Murray will be heavily favoured to beat Donald Young on the opening day. The top tennis tipster expect John Isner to be a very awkward customer on Sunday, even if the 6ft 10in American’s serve has been somewhat blunted by the slow court that has been made to order.In a similar vein, James Ward will not be underestimated by the American team. His stunning victory over Sam Querrey in San Diego laid the platform for a run to the cusp of the world’s top 100.Wins have been hard to come by recently as he plays more matches at tour level, but should it boil down to his deciding singles against Young, then Ward would have much in his favour. He may be 64 places below in the rankings, but will be able to count on the support of nearly 8,000 boisterous fans and his Davis Cup experience. This is his 10th tie, and only Young’s second.
Whatever happens in the singles, Britain will be confident of victory if they win Saturday’s doubles, even if there is always a big “if” when the Bryan brothers are on the other side of the net.Bob and Mike have lost only four of their 26 Davis Cup doubles rubbers and also found the time to win 16 Grand Slam titles and finish as the year-end number one a record 10 times.A lot will depend on weather Andy gets drawn into an arduous opening day singles match, which would then see Dom Inglotjoin Jamie Murray for the doubles. Otherwise, it is hard to imagine the double Grand Slam champion sitting on the bench in his native country if the tie is still very much in the balance especially as this would see him play alongside his brother: “I have played with Jamie in doubles since we were 10 years old, so even though we might not have played a lot the last few years, in your head somewhere you have those instincts and we do play quite well together. He normally tries to take the lead because he’s the older brother. On the court, he likes to tell me what to do often. I don’t like that, especially when he’s telling me where to serve. It doesn’t stop him from telling me, though.”
A top tennis prediction suggests that the Murray brothers against the Bryan twins is a fine proposition, but may not prove decisive in this clash. A professional tennis-betting tipster believes that Sunday’s singles are far from one-sided, so this one could well go the distance.