Davis Cup 2016: Great Britain v Japan – Predictions

Andy Murray will lead Great Britain’s Davis Cup defence as they take on Japan in the last 16 tie in Birmingham.

Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans, Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot complete GB’s line-up, all of whom experienced match action in last year’s incredible run to the title.

GB’s Famous Five

This marks Andy Murray’s 19th nomination to represent his country, making his debut way back in 2005 against Israel.

In contrast, 21-year-old Edmund has received just his second call-up after making his debut in last year’s final against Belgium, justifying his place after an excellent effort to take two sets off of the then world number 16 David Goffin.

Jamie Murray made his debut in 2007 against the Netherlands and is arguably the world’s most in form men’s doubles player having recently risen to a career high of number two in the world, following his maiden men’s doubles Grand Slam triumph with partner Bruno Soares at the Australian Open.

Evans returns to the side following his match in the semifinals last year against Bernard Tomic, which he lost in four sets, while Inglot is selected once more, receiving his fourth nomination.

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Great Britain’s two singles players for this first round tie?.. Getty Images

 

Who Will Feature?

With the Murray brothers both ranked at two in the world now they practically pick themselves and are very likely to team up once again in the doubles, a partnership which secured hard fought victories over France, Australia and Belgium.

However, the question of who takes the second singles spot is often the main talking point following Great Britain’s nominations.

Three different players received the nod for this spot last year, the first was James Ward, who defeated John Isner in the first round against the USA, which then earned him a spot against France in the quarterfinals.

However, following a poor second half of the season Ward was replaced by Evans in the semifinals and then Edmund in the final.

It is more than likely that the 21-year-old will get the opportunity to take on Kei Nishikori on day one after his decent start to 2016 and not to mention that performance against Goffin on his Davis Cup debut, but Leon Smith could opt for the more experienced Evans, taking into account that he defeated the Japanese number one in the first round of 2013 US Open.

Predictions

I expect the defending champions to make serene progress in Birmingham. Nishikori will definitely pose a strong threat for the Brits and I firmly expect him to defeat either Edmund or Evans, however, I believe that victory will be the only point which Japan get on the board. Andy Murray will lead the line and I expect Great Britain to win 3-1 and progress to the quarterfinals.

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