By Ros Satar
• Great win for Kyle Edmund in Buenos Aires
• Watched by Leon Smith
• Dan Evans also won (Knoxville) as James Ward fell in the second round in Argentina
LONDON, UK– Just who will be the British No. 2 when the team is announced on Tuesday?
Surely the main contender has to be Kyle Edmund, who was injured in the most recent tie in Glasgow, replaced by Dan Evans, but would GB Team Captain Leon Smith consider playing him in a Davis Cup final for his debut?
Stranger things have happened. One John McEnroe made his debut in a Davis Cup final, but moreover, things have been very up and down for all the contenders over the latter half of the year.
James Ward would have been in contention after a great run at Wimbledon, capitalising on the late withdrawal of his first round opponent David Ferrer to advance to round three, but after cracking the Top 100 for the first time, he really struggled to find any form.
His support was evident during the crucial semi-final tie in Glasgow, but it was Dan Evans who got the call up to replace Edmund, who was injured while preparing for his probable debut. It was a gamble as Evans had beaten Australia’s Bernard Tomic once before and it was hoped it would be a factor in the mercurial Aussie’s mind. To be fair to Evans, he almost had it. If he had been able to keep his stamina going, he may well have landed a floundering Tomic.
Instead it was down to Murray to win both singles rubbers, and a truly thrilling doubles match with the Murray Brothers to get the job done. And with Jamie Murray now with two Slam finals to his name this year, a good start here at the World Tour Finals, and the prospect of finishing World No. 1 team with his outgoing partner John Peers, all eyes fall to the chasing pack for that slot.
Smith would have been assessing both Ward and Edmund, but it has been a solid run for the younger Brit, now 99 in the world, and probably the strongest (certainly this year) of the crop on the dirt behind Murray.
In this final week before the team head to belgium, Edmund heads to Montevideo for one last week on the clay to stake his claim in the team.
Edmund is an exceptionally grounded young man, and you would have to think he would relish the chance to make the difference in the line-up. Smith could do worse than give him that chance.
Picture credits: Hans Ruhle Fotografia/BATennis World