Tennis

Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating Japan's Taro Daniel in Birmingham.

Andy Murray set for doubles duty once more in Davis Cup

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Football News
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Andy Murray's appetite for another stellar Davis Cup run should see him partner brother Jamie in Saturday's doubles as Great Britain look to restore their lead over Japan.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after the first day of play at Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena, with Murray easing past Taro Daniel 6-1 6-3 6-1 before Kei Nishikori withstood a fierce challenge from Dan Evans to win 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7/3).

Murray's match was his first since becoming a father nearly a month ago and he was wary of committing to doubles as well as singles beforehand, but captain Leon Smith confirmed the plan is for the brothers to team up as they did successfully on three occasions last year.

The world number two said on the eve of the tie his aim is for Britain to hold onto the trophy in 2016, and he is clearly prepared to put his body on the line again.

Smith said: "We will have a conversation about it and hopefully he feels good.

"The good thing is that, honestly, even if he does feel that he doesn't want to play, we have got a very good guy in Dom Inglot ready to go as well s o I am quite relaxed about it.

"Andy and Jamie are our strongest team so it is great if they can play."

The good news for Murray was his work-out against 87th-ranked Daniel was hardly taxing - he won the first 11 points and was off the court after only 90 minutes.

The Scot, who told an adoring crowd the last few weeks since the birth of his daughter Sophia had been "the best of my life", admitted he had struggled to concentrate at times.

He said: "It's very easy to start to think ahead. If someone tells you, 'Don't think ahead if you get up early', you think ahead."

Murray's victory set the stage for Evans to play his first match in his home city of Birmingham against Nishikori - ranked 151 places ahead of him.

The 25-year-old, in the team after Kyle Edmund suffered a back injury on Wednesday, again played well above his ranking and had his chances in the second and third sets.

But he could not capitalise on twice being a break ahead in the third and there was to be no repeat of his stunning upset of Nishikori at the 2013 US Open.

Evans may yet have a crucial role to play in a fifth rubber but, even if the tie is decided before that, keeping Nishikori on court for two hours and 44 minutes did his team a valuable service.

The world number six confirmed he too is likely to play doubles ahead of a showdown with Murray on Sunday.

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