Davis Cup Final – 27th November 2016
This year, Great Britain will play in its first Davis Cup final since 1978. And you have to go back to 1936 for the last time that Great Britain won the Davis Cup. This year they will take on Belgium in Ghent at the end of this month.
What makes the Davis Cup so interesting for Tennis fans and sports fans, in general, is the format. Tennis is usually an individual game; one person takes on another. But the Davis Cup switches all that by turning tennis into a team game. That’s why the tournament is known as the World Cup of tennis, with nations competing against one another in teams. In the Davis Cup, each tie is played over three days, each one has five matches (known as rubbers). The first day has two singles matches, the second day has a doubles match, and the third day has two more singles matches. The results of these rubbers are combined to produce an overall winning team.
The teams have to be decided upon ten days before the match. And with the final being played on the 27th, the British and Belgian teams will be announced on 17th. The British team had to beat the USA, France and Australia to reach this year’s final and have a shot of lifting the trophy. While the Belgian team have had to beat Switzerland, Canada and Argentina. Hopes are high in both camps, but the pressure will be on Great Britain most of all. This is largely because it has been so long since the Davis Cup was last won there.
Two players that will be hoping to make the cut for the British team are Kyle Edmunds and Dan Evans. Both of them have won ATP Challenger events at the weekend, which could strengthen their chances of making the team. Edmund beat Carlos Berlocq 6-0 6-4 to win the Buenos Aires Challenger clay court tournament. And Evans won in Tennessee on a hard court, beating Francis Tiafoe in three sets. It gives captain Leon Smith a lot to think about before naming his team for the final.
The squad for Great Britain’s semi-final victory over Australia may be kept the same. It consisted of Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray, Dominic Inglot and James Ward. Jamie and Andy Murray will be the pair to team up for Saturday’s doubles match. And most people agree that Britain’s success will rely on the performances of Andy Murray. He is undoubtedly the nation’s best player, and one of the best players in the world. It’s him who the Belgian team will be fearing.
Belgium’s best chance of securing victory will be if their star man, David Goffin, performs on the day. He’s undoubtedly their key player, and he’s performed very well in the performance so far. He’s already beaten top players like Federico Delbonis, Diego Schwartzman and Filip Peliwo. If he suffers a dip in form or an unexpected injury, it will be hard to see how Belgium could succeed. It will be his task to stop Murray dominating the tie.