So with Wimbledon over, grass court tennis is finished, right? wrong. There is more this weekend with the Davis Cup quarterfinals taking place. This will preview Davis Cup quarter final Great Britian v France to be held at The Queens Club in London. The teams have been announced for the tie. GB are sticking with the team that was successful against team USA in round one. Team France have nominated Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon & Nicolas Mahut.
2015 Davis Cup Quarterfinal GB v FRA
Depending on the draw, the ties in the Davis Cup quarterfinal GB v FRA are likely to be as follows
Day 1: Friday (order to be decided)
Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet
Murray being GB #1 (and World #3, 2012 Olympic Gold medalist, 2012 US Open Champion, and 2013 Wimbledon Champion) will face the French #2 – which I believe will be Richard Gasquet. This match up should be no problem for Murray, with grass being his favourite surface, recently winning at the same venue for the 4th time and reaching the Wimbledon semifinals. Gasquet also reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after an epic match over Stan Wawrinka in 5 sets. I believe that Murray will win this match in straight sets.
James Ward v Gilles Simon
Now this is the match that I’m very excited about. With Ward now ranked in the top 100 for the first time in his career, this author is very excited with the way he is playing lately. As the USA knows, Ward plays amazingly well in the big arenas, just ask Jim Courier, Sam Querry & John Isner. Ward has beaten both Querry and Isner in Davis Cup ties (one in USA and the other at home in Glasgow), both times going the distance over 5 sets. Ward also took advantage at Wimbledon of the withdrawal of David Ferrer before the tournament started, getting as far as Round 3. Seeing Ward play so well and move to #89 has pleased British tennis fans. Based on other Davis Cup performances, I would not write Ward off for this rubber, in fact I’m going to say this will be a very close match with Ward pulling off another fantastic performance and getting the win in 5.
Day 2: Saturday – Doubles
Jamie Murray & Dom Inglot v Jo-Wilfred Tsonga & Nicolas Mahut
If as I believe that GB are 2-0 up by the end of the first day, Andy will be rested and GB will play their two doubles players. Jamie Murray (who is Andy’s older brother) reached the Wimbledon men’s doubles final and Dom Inglot are GB’s top doubles players (many wish they would play together more) will face the French doubles team of Nicolas Mahut and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Neither of these play doubles together regularly with only Mahut the regular doubles player. This is likely to be the crucial rubber if the tie is balanced at 1-1 after the first day (if it is 1-1 then I expect that the GB team for the doubles will be the Murray brothers). Doubles is very exciting and at Davis Cup even more so; this rubber will either make or break the tie. If GB are up 2-0 and win the doubles then the tie is over and GB will be in the semifinals. If the tie is balanced at 1-1 and it is the Murray brothers against the French, GB are going to be the winners of the doubles. Andy doesn’t play much doubles but he is a great doubles player who if he played more would be quite high in the doubles rankings. I’m going to say that GB win the doubles sealing the tie.
Day 3: Sunday
If has all gone to plan (my plan) then these will be dead rubbers. On the off chance they are not then we will have as follows:
Andy Murray v Gilles Simon
Again, this match up should not be any trouble for Murray. He should defeat Simon easily; with his current grass court performance Simon will be no match for Murray and again this will be a straight sets win for GB. With this match being straight sets then the final rubber would be played.
James Ward v Richard Gasquet
Still on the basis that this is a dead rubber as I don’t see Murray losing either of his singles matches, then Ward would be playing Gasquet knowing the tie is won. Ward will still want to go out on a high, so will be bringing his best tennis again to the match. The outcome of this rubber will not affect the tie, however, I’m going with Ward to win again.
Now, if both are dead rubbers, then they may not even play if GB win by the Saturday. GB could always throw in Kyle Edmund or Liam Broady (who will likely be there as hitting partners) to give them some of the Davis Cup experience.
This is my opinion of the tie and I will be there to cheer on the GB lads against the French.