Davis Cup 2023: Andy Murray returns to Great Britain squad for group stage

This week marks the beginning of the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, which has a total of 16 nations competing for a spot in the knockout phase. One of those nations is Great Britain.

At Manchester’s AO Arena, Great Britain will square off against Australia, France, and Switzerland in the course of their round-robin group matches.

Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Neal Skupski, and Jack Draper are among the members of the group that will compete in the upcoming match. Murray was absent during the 3-1 triumph over Colombia in February.

The top two teams from the United Kingdom’s group will move on to the knockout stages in November.

“We can’t wait to play Davis Cup in Manchester in front of a huge home crowd,” Leon Smith, the captain of Britain’s tennis team, said in a statement.

“We have a great team with a lot of Davis Cup experience, and they will be ready to give it everything they’ve got in a tough group with Australia, Switzerland, and France,” said the captain. “We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Murray, who was an essential part of Britain’s victory in the men’s team tournament in 2015, when they ended a 79-year wait for glory in the sport, was not included in the team’s victory in the qualifying round on the Colombian clay.

Smith speculated that the surface was not the best for Murray, who, at the time, had only competed in three matches on clay since 2017.

The 36-year-old Scotsman stated that he “wasn’t in a great place after losing in a slam” and hence offered to sit out the competition in Manchester.

“I said to Smith, if I’m not needed, I absolutely get that. I completely get it. However, for some unknown reason, he requested me to come, and I responded by saying that I would come. Murray said this.

“I have always enjoyed competing in the Davis Cup as well as any other tournament in which you are representing your country. I feel so fortunate to be a member of this team because not only do we have an outstanding cast of characters, but also an outstanding support crew. Everyone gets along splendidly with one another.

“I truly believe that the squad has a chance of winning the competition. That is a significant incentive for me to be a part of it. I want to contribute to the success of the team in any manner that I can, whether it be on the court or in the locker room. We’ll have to wait and see what unfolds.”

After Draper, age 21, made it all the way to the fourth round at the US Open before losing to Andrey Rublev, the eighth seed from Russia, he was the final participant to be added to the tournament.

After overlooking Joe Salisbury, who, together with his American partner Rajeev Ram, won a third consecutive US Open men’s doubles title on Friday, Smith has indicated by calling up Draper that he will rely on Wimbledon doubles winner Skupski and Evans as his doubles partnership.

To advance to the championship round of the competition, which will take place in Malaga, Spain, from the 21st to the 26th of November, Great Britain must place in the top two in their four-team group, which will be contested from the 12th to the 17th of September.

What kind of format is it?
Four countries were given guaranteed spots in the Finals group stage: the champions from the previous year, Canada, as well as the runners-up, Australia, and two wildcard teams, Italy and Spain.

There are now a total of 12 countries that have qualified in addition to them: Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

The countries have been organized into four separate groups of four nations each. The games for Group A will take place in Bologna, Italy, Group B will take place in Manchester, England, Group C will compete in Valencia, Spain, and Group D will compete in Split, Croatia.

Every match consists of two singles contests and one match played in doubles. After the round-robin round of the competition, the top two competitors from each group will advance to the knockout phase.

A guide to watching the Davis Cup online.
Beginning at 13:00 British Summer Time (BST), every one of Great Britain’s matches will be available to watch live on the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website, and updates will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Schedule (all times are in British Summer Time and groups are indicated by parentheses).
Sweden taking on Chile in match number one (A), France taking on Switzerland in match number two (B, 13:00 BST), Serbia taking on South Korea in match number three (C), and Finland taking on the Netherlands in match number four (D).

The following matches are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 13: Canada vs. Italy (A), Australia vs. Great Britain (B, 13:00 BST), Spain vs. Czech Republic (C), and Croatia vs. United States of America (D).

The matches for Thursday, September 14 are as follows: Canada vs. Sweden (A), Australia vs. France (B, 13:00 BST), Czech Republic vs. South Korea (C), and the United States vs. the Netherlands (D).

On Friday, September 15, Italy will play Chile in Match A, Great Britain will play Switzerland in Match B at 13:00 BST, Spain will play Serbia in Match C, and Croatia will play Finland in Match D.

On September 16, Canada will play Chile in match A, Australia will play Switzerland in match B (at 13:00 BST), Serbia will play the Czech Republic in match C, and the United States will play Finland in match D.

On Sunday, September 17, Italy will play Sweden in Match A, Great Britain will play France in Match B (at 13:00 BST), Spain will play South Korea in Match C, and Croatia will play the Netherlands in Match D.

Who will the United Kingdom have to contend with?

There are three players on the Great Britain team who are ranked in the top 45 in the world: Norrie, Evans, and Murray. Additionally, Skupski and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands won the men’s doubles competition at Wimbledon in July.

Due to a wrist injury, Nick Kyrgios will not be competing for Australia, but the nation’s depth of talent is on full display as Alexei Popyrin and Aleksandar Vukic, both ranked in the top 50, have been left off the roster.

While Alex de Minaur holds the twelfth spot in the world, both Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis are currently ranked in the top eighty. In 2022, the men’s doubles competition at Wimbledon was won by Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden.

Arthur Fils, who is only 19 years old, won an ATP Tour event in May at the Lyon Open. In addition, France’s doubles specialists, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who is 39, and Nicolas Mahut, who is 41, give France a blend of youth and experience.

The top forty players The French squad also includes players like as Ugo Humbert and Adrian Mannarino.

Although Switzerland won the Davis Cup in 2014, they no longer have the services of the retired Roger Federer to draw upon. However, three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, who was a member of the Switzerland team that won the Davis Cup in 2004, is back in the lineup.

Dominic Stricker, 21, upset Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the 2023 US Open before losing in the round of 16. Their team also comprises Marc-Andrea Huesler and Alexander Ritschard and Leandro Riedi, who specialize in doubles play.

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