The first round of 2016 Davis Cup World Group got underway in the early hours of this morning with Australia hosting the USA at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis club in Melbourne. Even though the Aussies were on home soil and playing on their favoured surface grass, the USA were chalked up as favourites to progress to the second round as the Aussies had lost Nick Kyrgios in the build-up.
The Aussies still seem to have a strong team based on the surface while Isner has never been particularly successful on grass outside the USA or in the Davis Cup in general and Jack Sock has little experience on the surface. At the time of writing it is one all in the first round of singles with Tomic beating Jack Sock in 4 sets and Isner defeating Groth comfortably in straight sets.
Great Britain’s tie against Japan at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham gets underway at 1pm today and is live on BBC 2. The Brits lost Kyle Edmunds in the build up due to injury and he has been replaced by Dan Evans, who is currently ranked in the 150s. With Murray returning after a long break and Edmunds missing, this tie looks even tougher for GB now.
On paper it looks like the singles rubbers will end one all after Friday. GB look a safe bet for the doubles on Saturday with Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot a strong pairing and it looks like the tie will be determined by the singles rubbers on Saturday, which could easily go either way, even if Murray plays Nishikori first as the Japanese star is more than capable of beating Murray on his day.
Serbia, France, Croatia and Italy look like safe bets to progress to the second round, while the ties between Poland and Argentina and Germany and the Czech Republic are tough ones to call.
At the time of writing it’s great to see the British tennis girls doing the business on the WTA Tour. Naomi Broady has made it through to the quarter finals at Kuala Lumpur and will face her sternest test so far this week against third seed Sabine Lisicki. At Monterrey (Mexico) both Heather Watson and fourth seed Johanna Konta were through to the quarter finals. Konta has a great chance of progressing to the semi-finals against Flipkens, while Watson will be playing second seed Caroline Wozniacki.