The Davis Cup got underway in the early hours of this morning with the World Group play off ties between Australia and Slovakia at the Sydney Olympic Tennis Park and Japan and the Ukraine at the Utsubo Tennis Centre in Osaka. Other significant ties of note starting today are between Uzbekistan and Switzerland in Tashkent, Germany and Poland in Berlin and last year’s finalists Belgium and Brazil in Ostend.
The World Group semi-finals also take place this weekend and the tie of the weekend has to be Great Britain against Argentina at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. Andy Murray faces Juan Martin Del Potro in the opening rubber, which is sure to be a highly charged and emotional affair as Andy Murray’s Grandfather passed away recently and he is missing the funeral to play for his country.
From a betting perspective GB are clear favourites to win the tie and, if Murray can dig deep and play near his best in the two singles rubbers and doubles and Edmunds can produce the type of tennis he showed at the US Open, then GB should progress to the final 3-0 or 3-1. Today’s game will be by far the toughest and Del Potro is more than capable of making life very difficult for Murray and with this in mind backing Over 37.5 Games in the match at 4/5 should return a profit.
The quality of the other tie between Croatia and France in the Kresimir Cosic Hall in Zadar, Croatia has been lessened somewhat due to France missing Tsonga and Monfils due to injury. The singles rubbers look evenly balanced and Coric and Gasquet get the tie underway this afternoon followed by Cilic and Pouille.
The tie could easily end 1-1 on day one if results go the way of rankings and France may take the lead going in to day three as Mahut and Herbert are a seriously high class doubles partnership and should win the doubles rubber tomorrow. That would set up the crucial third singles rubber between Cilic and Gasquet nicely on Sunday and, on home soil, Cilic on an indoor hard court would have to be the call.