Great Britain begin the defence of their Davis Cup title on Friday, taking on Japan in Birmingham.
Coach Leon Smith has been able to name a full-strength squad ahead of the tie, with Andy Murray resuming his role as the team’s spearhead after recently becoming a father.
Murray will be backed up by Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot, making the team the same quartet who triumphed in Belgium last year.
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Japan’s team are led by world number six Kei Nishikori, who beat Murray as recently as 2014. However, Smith’s side will be confident of overcoming Japan, who lost to Canada in the first round of the World Group last year.
Murray has only lost once to Nishikori in six meetings and will be confident of beating him again. World number 87 Taro Daniel is expected to play to other rubber and is unlikely to pose much of a threat to the Scot.
Smith will be hoping that Great Britain are less reliant on the younger Murray brother in this tie and will look to pair Dominic Inglot with Jamie Murray in the doubles.
Murray (of the Andy variety) hasn’t played a match since his Australian Open final loss to Novak Djokovic, due to the birth of his first child, and will be looking to return to winning ways. Interestingly, if Great Britain do beat Japan, it is likely they’ll face Djokovic’s Serbia in the next round – a tie Murray is yet to commit to.
Should this situation arise it would take a lot for the world number two to turn his back on such a compelling match-up. However, this is all hypothetical. There is Japan – and Kei Nishikori – to beat first.
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