Andy Murray’s brilliant performances for Great Britain in the Davis Cup are set to alter the bookmakers’ prices in not one but two major tennis tournaments in the coming weeks.
Along with his brother Jamie and Dan Evans, the world number two secured Team GB’s place in their first Davis Cup final for more than 30 years. There they will meet Belgium, who achieved their place in their first final of the ‘World Cup of tennis’ since 1904.
Murray was in imperious form throughout the semi-final clash with Australia in Glasgow, overcoming both Thanasi Kokkinakis and Bernard Tomic in singles rubbers before battling hard with his brother to see off the threat of the wily Leyton Hewitt and the huge serving Sam Groth in a crucial doubles encounter which essentially settled the tie.
And that booked his team’s place in the final against the Belgians in November, where the Brits will be looking for their first Davis Cup title in more than 70 years. But Belgium – led by David Goffin and Steve Darcis – will have something to say about that after their nail-biting last four win over Argentina.
What makes that final clash all the more intriguing is that Belgium, as hosts, plan to hold the final on a clay court surface in Ghent. The clay is, notoriously, Andy Murray’s weakest surface, and so the Belgians clearly want to minimize his threat whilst attacking his singles partner, with Dan Evans likely to keep his place in the side.
If that is the case, the Davis Cup final will take place from November 27-29 – less than a week after the ATP Tour finals at the O2 Arena in London. And Murray is in no doubt of which tournament he will favour.
“The O2 would obviously be a question mark for me if we were playing on the clay,” Murray told BBC Radio 5. “I would go and train and prepare on the clay to get ready for the final.”
That would mean he would refuse an invitation to take part in the ATP Tour’s now annual lucrative curtain call tournament, where the prize money is a whopping €5 million. But as a proud Scot it would take more than that to stop Murray representing his nation in a tournament final of this magnitude.
Great Britain are the early bookmakers favourites to win that Davis Cup final and can be backed from as short as 1.44. That’s because Murray will be fancied to win both his singles clashes against Goffin and Darcis, whilst teaming up with his older brother Jamie – himself one of the best doubles players in the world – to triumph in the pairs.
By: Craig Simpkin