By Niall Clarke
- Great Britain will face Australia in the Davis Cup semi finals
- Edmund’s injury scare ‘not serious’
- The draw will be made on Thursday 17th September
Glasgow, Scotland- Great Britain’s bid for their first Davis Cup title in 79 years continues when they face Australia in the semi-finals this weekend.
The tie will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow over the weekend of the 18th-20th September. This is the same venue that Great Britain defeated the USA in the first round earlier in the year.
Captain Leon Smith has chosen a five man team to face Australia which is spearheaded by world number three Andy Murray. Joining the British number one is James Ward, who is looking to repeat his heroics from the USA tie, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot. British number two, Aljaz Bedene, is ineligible to play due to his past association with Slovenia.
Edmund was a slight doubt for the tie after suffering an injury scare. The 20 year old rolled his right ankle in practice earlier on in the week, which forced Dan Evans to be on standby. Fortunately, the injury was not serious.
“I went for a scan last night” The British number three said (Source: Tennis Atlantic). “And when it came back it showed nothing, just a little bit of a bump, that’s it.”
Many people feel that the tie will be decided by the form and fitness of Murray. His persistence during the Quarter Final against France earned Britain a 3-1 victory. The 28 year old was physically diminished, but still managed to battle through to win two singles and one doubles rubber. But the British number one feels that it will be down to the team, and that the pressure is not just on him like Lleyton Hewitt claimed.
“I would say [The Pressure] is all on me.” The 28 year old said (Source: Tennis Atlantic). “We got into this position by everyone on the team playing their part, and there is pressure on everybody.”
Great Britain have lifted the Davis Cup trophy nine times, but their last victory came all the way back in 1936 and the days of Fred Perry. Now under the guidance of undoubtedly the greatest British player since then, many sense that there is a big opportunity to break the 79 year duck.
Australia have won it 28 times, over three times as many as Great Britain. They also do not have to look back to the 1930’s for their last victory. Rather it was 2003 when the Aussies last won the Davis Cup in a team led by Hewitt, who will play his final Davis Cup tournament before retirement.
“Yh it obviously means a lot [to play his last Davis Cup]” Hewitt said (Source: Tennis Atlantic). “It is my last year playing, and it is a great opportunity.
“With my experience and the other boys’ youth, I think we have really mixed it up well this year
“I think as a team we have gotten stronger as the year has gone on, which is a really good sign. We are here to put our best foot forward and we won’t be leaving anything in the locker room that’s for sure.”
He is joined by Bernard Tomic, Thanasi Kokkanakis and Sam Groth, with ‘bad boy’ Nick Kyrgios being the notable admission. Their balance of youth and experience helped them overcome a 2-0 deficit against Kazakhstan in the quarter finals. The Hewitt and Groth inspired comeback made sure that the Aussie’s are through to their first semi-final for a decade.
“After Nick played Andy at the US Open we sat down two days later. Nick has had a really full year in more ways than one, so we just kind of felt mutually that this was the best fit for him and the team.” Said Aussie captain, Wally Masur. (Source: Tennis Atlantic)
It is one of sport’s greatest rivalries, and now tennis has its chance to create their own ‘Ashes’ this weekend. Be sure not to miss it.
Great Britain vs Australia will be played over the weekend of the 18th-20th September.