Tennis

James Ward earns GB starting spot in Davis Cup

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Great Britain have selected James Ward for two singles rubbers in their Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Italy.

The 27-year-old has been chosen ahead of Dan Evans, and he will face Fabio Fognini in the opening match at the Tennis Club Napoli in Naples.

Team captain Leon Smith had been given a dilemma as to deciding who should be chosen as the second singles player alongside British number one Andy Murray, as both have had successful records in the competition in the last few years.

Ward played a key role in his team’s victory over USA in the first round at Petco Park in San Diego, as he defeated Sam Querrey in five sets to give his team a 2-0 lead, and helped set up a 3-1 win overall.

Evans had remained confident that he would be given the nod to play, but Ward insisted that Smith’s decision hasn’t affected their working relationship, and said that Evans will remain in Naples to support the team.

When asked if the competition for a place in the team had caused any tension between them, he answered: "No, me and Evo get on really well and we've been laughing about it all week - we always thought someone might get the chop.

"But we spoke after the decision and he's going to stick around and support, which is good from him."

Murray will be taking on Andreas Seppi in the second singles rubber of the day, and his fitness is a boost for the British camp, as he had been suffering from illness before being passed fit to play.

Should he come through the first day without any problems, the reigning Wimbledon champion will be likely to partner Colin Fleming in the doubles match on Saturday, which will be against Paolo Lorenzi and Simone Bolelli.

Ward’s chances against Fognini could be enhanced by a quad injury that the world number 13 has been nursing recently, though he too has also been able to prove his fitness.

The final day of the tie will see the singles rubbers reversed, and Ward is set to face Seppi in what could be a nail-biting decider, should that match have to be played.


The London-born player has shown he can handle pressure in the Davis Cup before, notably when beating Russian Dimitry Tursunov in Coventry last year from being two sets to one down, a tie his team went on to win, which allowed them to progress to a World Group Play-off.

That could be what has seen him picked ahead of Evans, despite being ranked 31 places below his compatriot at 161.

There is a possibility that the tie could have to be completed on Monday, as the weather forecasts suggest that there could be rain delays on all three days of the weekend.


The first match was scheduled to get underway at 10:30am BST, but has been delayed due to rain.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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