James Ward and Kyle Edmund still waiting to discover Davis Cup final fate

Published: Wednesday 25th November 2015 by The News Editor

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The wait goes on for James Ward and Kyle Edmund as captain Leon Smith mulls over who to choose as his second singles player for the Davis Cup final against Belgium.

Smith had hoped to make an early decision but, with the British team’s travel to Ghent delayed by security fears over the situation in nearby Brussels, the pair are still both in the running to join Andy Murray in the side.

Smith does not have to submit his official four-man team until an hour before the draw on Thursday, and he said: “We wanted to get here and actually get a feel for the venue, a feel for the courts.

“That’s why I didn’t speak to the guys directly about it just yet. I’m going to wait and see over the next day or two.”

It is a choice between youth and experience for Smith. Ward has been a stalwart during the Scot’s five-and-a-half-year reign as captain and Britain probably would not be in the final had he not upset USA number one John Isner in the first round.

But the Londoner’s form has been very mixed and 20-year-old Edmund looked to have stolen a decisive march by winning a Challenger title on clay in Buenos Aires in front of Smith just over a week ago.

Should Edmund be picked, it would be the most high pressured of debuts, with no debutant having ever won a live rubber in the final before.

The Yorkshireman, who tellingly has been Murray’s practice partner in Ghent, said: “You want to play, especially for your country. You want to do your best. Whoever plays is going to give their best.

“They’re going to prepare the same way they’ve done every other time. It doesn’t change. It’s a tennis match you’ll prepare for. Y ou just deal with it when it comes to it.”

Ward admitted the uncertainty is not easy, saying: ” Obviously everyone wants to play in such a big competition.

“But it’s been a big team effort for years. It’s not just about this year, it’s been about the last four, five years. Many different players, even guys that aren’t here this week, have played a big part in that.

“We’ll all work together as a team and fight for the best result for all of us.”

The British team have been reassured about security since arriving in Ghent, with their main concern so far being the freezing temperatures in the venue, which is still very much in a state of preparation.

Murray practised on clay for several days before the ATP World Tour Finals in London but has not played a match on indoor clay for a decade.

He said: “Playing indoors tends to make things a little bit quicker, which helps obviously. But I only played on the court for a couple hours in freezing cold conditions. It’s kind of hard to know exactly how the court’s going to play come Friday. But I liked it.”

Published: Wednesday 25th November 2015 by The News Editor

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