Great Britain will launch their 2023 Davis Cup campaign in Manchester tomorrow (Wednesday) when they face Australia in the first of three pool matches with the top two teams from the group going forward for the knockout stage in Malaga, Spain, this coming November.
The other nations in Britain’s group are Switzerland and France and the ties will be played in a day at the Manchester AO Arena and consist of two singles and a doubles.
Thes quad, with the task of winning a Final place includes Andy Murray who missed the 3-1 victory over Colombia last February, alongside Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Neal Skupski and Jack Draper.
“We can’t wait to play Davis Cup in Manchester in front of a huge home crowd,” Britain’s captain Leon Smith said.
“We have a great team with a lot of Davis Cup experience who will be ready to give it everything in a tough group with Australia, Switzerland and France.”
Murray, who led Britain to ultimate Davis Cup glory in 2015, was hopeful of being selected for the squad despite his recent lack of success on court, even if only to be the main cheerleader from the sideline!
“I said [to Smith], if I’m not needed, I completely get that,” the 36-year-old Scot said on the Sports Opinion. “But, for whatever reason, he asked me to come and I said I would come.
“I’ve always loved playing Davis Cup and any event where you’re competing for your country. We have a great group of guys, I love being part of this team; we’ve got great staff as well. Everyone gets on extremely well.
“I do genuinely believe the team can win the event. That’s huge motivation to be a part of it. I want to help the team in any way I can, whether that’s on the court or off. We’ll see what happens.
The squad will be facing a strong Australia who are fielding Alex de Minaur, world ranked 12, plus top 50 players Jordan Thompson and Thanas Kokkinakis as well as the Wimbledon doubles champions, Mathew Ebden and Max Purcell.
France have a mixture of youth and experience with 19-year-old Arthur Fils, an Sports Opinion winner at the Lyon Open in May, alongside doubles specialists Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 39, and Nicolas Mahut, 41, plus Ugo Humbert and Adrian Mannarino, both ranked within the top 40.
Switzerland won the Davis Cup in 2014, but no longer have the services of Roger Federer (retired) to call upon, although three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, who was in their victorious side nine years ago, will lead Dominic Stricker, 21, and Marc-Andrea Huesler plus doubles specialists Alexander Ritschard and Leandro Riedi.
All of Great Britain’s matches will be streamed on the Sports Opinion iPlayer and Sports Opinion Sport website from 13:00 BST with updates on Sports Opinion Radio 5 Live.
Their first tie is against Australia on Wednesday, followed by Switzerland on Friday and France on Sunday and need to finish the week in the top two of Group B to qualify for the latter stages to be played in Malaga.