There were no shocks as Britain’s Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith announced his squad for the first round clash against Japan in Birmingham next month earlier today, including Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Dom Inglot and Jamie Murray in the squad.
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) February 23, 2016
There were question marks as to whether Andy Murray, following the birth of his first child, would participate, and as to which player Smith would choose as the back-up singles team member, but following his recent good form, Dan Evans was unsurprisingly picked over James Ward, who has started 2016 rather indifferently.
The tie, which takes place on March 4-6, will be hosted in Dan Evans’ hometown of Birmingham, and the Brit will be keen to fight for a place to represent his country in his backyard after a quite astonishing rise up the rankings since mid-2015.
The tie will also be the first competitive action that Andy Murray will undergo since the Australian Open and the birth of his child earlier this month. Murray is then expected to head to the States for the first of the ATP Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells.
In terms of potential doubles partnerships, it is assumed that once again it will depend on the results of the first two singles rubbers: should the tie be poised evenly at 1-1, the likelihood of Andy teaming up with brother Jamie would increase, but should Andy and (presumably) Kyle both win their first singles matches, it is likely Britain would revert to doubles specialist Inglot to preserve Murray’s energy, especially given the proximity of the Masters event to the Davis Cup weekend.
Should Britain win, they will be guaranteed to once again be in the World Group for the 2017 Davis Cup. If they lose, they face a relegation playoff with a team from the Europe/Asia Group I.