Dan Evans hopes home fans give him the edge against Kei Nishikori in Davis Cup

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Dan Evans is hoping his home crowd can spur him on to more Davis Cup heroics.

The 25-year-old had made earning a place in the Great Britain team for this weekend's tie against Japan a major goal ever since the venue was announced as the Barclaycard Arena in his home city of Birmingham.

He looked set to miss out to Kyle Edmund, but the 21-year-old suffered a back injury in practice on Wednesday so it is Evans who will take on world number six Kei Nishikori on Friday.

Evans was a spectator at the same venue for matches against the United States in 1999 and Sweden three years later - "We lost both, hopefully that won't happen this weekend," he said - and is looking forward to the experience.

He said: "I'm going to enjoy it. Obviously I'll be proud to be playing in front of the Birmingham crowd. Hopefully they make a lot of noise and have a good day."

The career of the mercurial Evans is currently on another upward curve less than a year after he found himself ranked 772nd in the world.

A niggling knee injury coupled with Evans' ever wavering commitment to the hard slog of professional tennis had seen him nosedive but he has put together an impressive run of results over the last eight months, including qualifying for the Australian Open, to climb back to 157.

Evans also has a winning record against Nishikori having beaten him in straight sets on his way to the third round of the US Open in 2013 - the tournament that showed the enormous potential he possesses.

The British number four has produced notable upsets in Davis Cup before, beating Slovakian duo Lukas Lacko and Martin Klizan and Russia's Evgeny Donskoy, but has never won a match in the World Group.

Evans said: "I've just got to try and be aggressive and play my game and keep the match quite close and hopefully I can come through."

Nishikori, who reached the final in New York a year after losing to Evans, had been preparing to face Edmund but is optimistic of avoiding a similar fate to their previous meeting.

He said: "We've both changed a lot. I've got better the last few years. I'm sure we both play a little bit different. I have to change some tactics but I'll try to play my tennis.

"He played great tennis (in New York). I think I was a little bit nervous, I don't remember much but obviously I didn't play good tennis."

Britain will hope to be 1-0 up by the time Evans and Nishikori take to the court, with Andy Murray facing 87th-ranked Taro Daniel in the opening rubber of their title defence.

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