By Ros Satar
- Denis Shapovalov v Dan Evans
- Vasek Pospisil v Kyle Edmund
- Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil v Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray
- Vasek Pospisil/Dan Evans
- Denis Shapovalov v Kyle Edmund
OTTAWA, CANADA – Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund will fly the flag for Great Britain as they face Canada in the first round of the Davis Cup, with the hosts without Milos Raonic, and visitors without Andy Murray.
Having closed out the year as the World No. 1 as well as winning five titles in a row in including the season finale in London, Andy Murray had a disappointing Australian Open, losing in the fourth round and now opting to take a month off before making a planned return in Dubai.
However, with Kyle Edmund emerging as the hero of the away tie last year in Serbia, and Dan Evans having helped Team GB on more than one occasion when the team were languishing in the lower tiers of the competition with some notable victories, the Brits must fancy their chances but this is a tie that could easily go down to the wire.
Denis Shapovalov v Dan Evans – H2H: Evans leads 1-0
Evans’ rise back up the rankings, reaching a career high of 45 following his run to the fourth round of the Australian Open sends him to Canada with his confidence high, not to mention a win over Denis Shapovalov last year while he was still working the Challenger tour.
However, he is not to be underestimated – he won the junior Wimbledon title last year, and even beat Nick Kyrgios on home turf last year in the Canada Masters. He also has a Davis Cup win to is name, so won’t be overawed by playing in front of a home crowd.
This should be winnable by Evans who does have far more five-set experience to his name, and by his own admission enjoys all the trimmings that goes with being one of the Davis Cup heroes.
Prediction: Evans in four sets.
Vasek Pospisil v Kyle Edmund – H2H: Pospisil leads 1-0
There was no doubt how much Edmund’s wins in Serbia meant to him, having come so close to winning the opening match in the Davis Cup final against David Goffin in Belgium. But more importantly it gives him the confidence to know that he can carry the hopes of the British team, in an away tie to boot.
Vasek Pospisil’s injury woes have seen him fall from a career high of 25 in 2014 to languishing outstide the Top 100, but he is a Davis Cup stalwart for Canada.
Edmund is certainly capable of the win – his fitness has improved immeasurably over the years, but a lacklustre performance in the second round of the Australian Open leaves him a little undercooked compared to Evans.
Prediction: Edmund in five sets.
Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil v Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray
This is often the pivotal match of the tie, and this could be a corker. With Pospisil becoming quite an accomplished doubles player now, and the reputation of Daniel Nestor needs no introduction, it presents the pairing of Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray with quite a challenge.
Murray had a disappointing Australian Open – as defending champions he and Bruno Soares crashed out in the first round while Inglot and partner Florin Mergea made it to the third round. The pair only really partner up during Davis Cup if Murray is not present, so the combination of Inglot’s hefty serve and Murray’s versatility at the net will need to be on point to defeat the Canadians. This is where the tie could be won or lost.
Evans’ confidence could well be put to the test with a 0-1 head to head deficit against Pospisil, but as before – it is a long time since they faced each other in the Challengers, and Evans will need some flashy aggressive tennis to help set the Brits on course.
Things may come down to a first time meeting between Edmund and Shapovalov.
The Davis Cup World Group Round One tie begins at 3pm (8pm GMT).
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