It’s a big Davis Cup semifinal weekend coming up. In the World Group, Andy Murray and his British team will host Argentina while the France travels to Croatia.
In the Friday opener, Murray will battle Juan Martin del Potro in a rematch of their gold medal match in Rio last month.
“It will be a very tough match. We obviously had a great battle in Rio. It was four hours, lots of ups and downs, a lot of momentum shifts and was mentally and physically a very draining match,” Murray said.
“I think both of us were pretty tired afterwards, and emotional. I think that showed in how we were right after the final point. It will be another intense atmosphere here and I’m looking forward to it.”
Del Potro is playing his first Davis Cup tie since 2012.
“I will try to do a different match to what I did in Rio,” del Potro said. “It’s going to be really tough, a tough moment for me against Andy. It’s never easy here but I am looking forward to doing a surprise.
“I will be fresh tomorrow and I know how my level is at this moment so I will try to be aggressive all the time and I will try and change the result from the Rio match. We will see if I can get the first point for my team.”
Kyle Edmund was the pick for Leon Smith over Dan Evans for the second rubber against Guido Pella.
In Croatia, quarterfinal hero Borna Coric will face Richard Gasquet in the first rubber followed by Marin Cilic against Lucas Pouille.
“My preparations for the tie have been less than ideal because my knee flared up after the Olympic Games in Rio,” Coric said.
“I made the most of the last few days and we will see how it goes. I was in two minds whether to play at all but it’s the Davis Cup semifinal and I just had to take the risk.”
“I would have preferred to play second on the opening day but I am still looking forward to the clash with Gasquet. I have never played against him so I have some homework to do in order to come up with the right game-plan.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils were both unavailable for the tie.
In the playoff round, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer lead a high-powered Spanish team against India on the hard courts in New Delhi. Nadal takes on Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opener; Ferrer will be facing Saketh Myneni in the second.
Rafael Nadal (ESP) Photo: Rahul Goyal
NADAL WILL OPEN SPAIN’S CAMPAIGN FOR PROMOTION
15 Sep 2016Jaideep Ghosh
Rafael Nadal will look to maintain his Davis Cup by BNP Paribas singles winning streak and help his country earn promotion back to the World Group when he opens proceedings against India
The Spanish Davis Cup by BNP Paribas team look to be in confident mood for the World Group play-off against India and it’s hardly surprising given the heavy artillery they have brought to New Delhi.
When the draw was completed at the team hotel on Thursday afternoon, the contrasting body languages were quite evident. While the Indian players, especially the younger ones, were pretty keen to take a look at who they were playing, the Spaniards’ interest was piqued more by the ornate elephant-shaped boxes from which the names were being drawn.
For the record, Spanish No. 1 Nadal takes on India’s No. 2 Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opening singles, while David Ferrer will be facing Saketh Myneni in the second match.
The doubles on Saturday pits French Open champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez against Leander Paes and Myneni.
Spain are here on a mission. It is now two years to the month that they have been out of the World Group, which is something they just cannot digest. Going to Germany in 2014, and then losing to Brazil in a tie they were absolutely sure they would win sent them packing out of the World Group and they have stayed out since.
This is something of a surprise for the side which has won the coveted Davis Cup five times.
“It’s an extremely uphill battle for us,” says Indian team captain Anand Amritraj. “We are playing probably one of the two or three best teams in the world.
“The draw makes no difference, whether Nadal plays the first or not. In Davis Cup, the number one plays the number two, so it really doesn’t matter who plays first.”
Kei Nishikori and Japan will host the Ukraine and the Australians will be led by Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic against Slovakia.
Great Britain (c) (s) v Argentina (s)
Emirates Arena, Glasgow, GBR – hard (indoors)
Andy Murray vs Juan Martin del Potro
Kyle Edmund vs Guido Pella
Andy Murray/Jamie Murray vs Federico Delbonis/Leonardo Mayer
Andy Murray vs Guido Pella
Kyle Edmund vs Juan Martin del Potro
Croatia (c) v France (s)
Kresimir Cosic Hall, Zadar, CRO – hard (indoors)
Borna Coric vs Richard Gasquet
Marin Cilic vs Lucas Pouille
Ivan Dodig/Marin Draganja vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut
Marin Cilic vs Richard Gasquet
Borna Coric vs Lucas Pouille
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