Andy Murray Confirmed for Great Britain Davis Cup Tie Against United States

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2014

Andy Murray of Britain, left,  walks past his coach Ivan Lendl during a training session on the Rod Laver Arena, at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.  Wimbledon champion Murray faces Roger Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slams, at the Australian Open quarterfinal Wednesday.(AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press

Andy Murray has handed Great Britain the best possible chance of beating the United States in their forthcoming Davis Cup showdown, making himself available for singles and doubles.

Murray is currently in the thick of the action at the Australian Open, where he is preparing for a quarterfinal meeting with Roger Federer.

However, Jan. 31 brings Team GB’s return to the Davis Cup World Group, scheduled just five days after the Australian Open final in Melbourne.

Nevertheless, Murray has put himself forward for three matches in as many days, per Kevin Mitchell of the Guardian:

Andy Murray has committed to playing singles and doubles for Great Britain in the Davis Cup tie against the United States on a dropped-in clay court at the home of the San Diego Padres within days of the Australian Open final.

Piers Newbury of BBC Sport had earlier quoted a cagey Murray on the prospects of him playing both forms of the game at the end of the month:

I don't want to give away any tactics or anything that may go into the match and selections and whatnot.

But I've spoken to (captain) Leon Smith about it. I've had the discussion with him and we'll see when we get there.

Should Murray help Team GB by playing both singles and doubles, he will hand them a much improved chance of claiming victory over the U.S. side.

No American is currently ranked higher than Murray in world tennis, so he would be favourite to win both his singles encounters.

Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press

That is why the doubles rubber becomes so vital, because it will likely be the decisive factor in the tie.

Murray will likely partner Colin Fleming, although Team GB captain Leon Smith does have Dom Inglot for cover.

Kyle Edmund and James Ward are the other two men vying for singles action, but neither would be expected to pull off a shock win against their American rivals.

John Isner and Sam Querrey would both expect to earn victories over the inexperienced British duo, so—in all likelihood—the singles encounters will decide nothing.

U.S. captain Jim Courier has the famous Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, as his doubles partnership, boasting over 90 titles between them, according to their official website.

Murray can only be in complete control of the tie if he opts to put himself in the firing line, so all eyes will be on that all-important doubles showdown come the end of the month.