Davis Cup 2016: Great Britain vs Japan first round preview

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Andy Murray
Tennis - Great Britain v Japan - Davis Cup World Group First Round - Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham - 2/3/16 Great Britain's Andy Murray and Jamie Murray during practice Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Great Britain will open their title defense against Japan at the Davis Cup World Group first round on March 4 to 6.

World No. 2 Andy Murray will lead Britain to their Davis Cup first round clash against Kei Nishikori and Japan at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham this weekend. Murray will be joined by his brother Jamie, Kyle Edmund and Dominic Inglot, while Japan boasts of  a lineup consisting of Nishikori, Taro Daniel, Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama.

Murray, who is coming off a final round defeat against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January, did not join any tournaments, serving as a full-time dad after the birth of his daughter. But despite the lack of competitive matches, the two-time Grand Slam champion vowed to play a full part in Britain’s Davis Cup title defense this year.

"Providing everything goes well, I would play in the Davis Cup, then have a little break and play Toronto and the Olympics, and potentially not play in Cincinnati," Murray told the BBC. "I've always enjoyed representing my country. Statistically I've played by far my best tennis when I've played for Great Britain."

Murray was remarkable in last year’s Davis Cup finals against Belgium that gave Britain their first victory at the tournament in 79 years. Murray will have a chance at a quarterfinal match against Serbia and Djokovic if they get past through Japan and Nishikori, who has lost just twice on singles duty in his Davis Cup stint.

Nishikori opens the singles match against Murray, whom the the 26-year-old Japanese only defeated once in six meetings. But the world No. 6 is optimistic he and his Japanese team have a chance to upset the defending champs this weekend.

“We have a chance to beat England,” Nishikori said, reports the Telegraph. “I think they have one of the best teams, with Andy and his brother, so it is a great challenge for us.”