The Tennis’ World Cup final is set to begin in Belgium on Friday, ATP world-ranked 86 doubles player, Roberto Maytin, gave Last Word on Sports some exclusive analysis.
Exclusive: Roberto Maytin, Top 100 ATP player insight on Davis Cup Final
Davis Cup final will be held in Ghent at the Flanders Expo Arena on a dropped in clay court, where Belgium will try to claim their first ever Davis Cup crown while Great Britain will have the chance to win back the title since Fred Perry’s team victory in 1936.
“It’s going to be a very complicated series; I think whoever wins the doubles will win the final.
“Belgium chose clay court to have the advantage over Great Britain, pure Davis Cup strategy.
“Everybody knows clay isn’t (Andy) Murray’s preferred surface and that he’s had issues with his back due to the difficult transition.
“But when you look at his results in 2015, Andy won his first two big clay court tournaments, Madrid and Munich, so I don’t think he’ll have much trouble winning his both singles this weekend.
“At the same time, I believe (David) Goffin and (Steve) Darcis will defeat (Kyle) Edmund or (James) Ward,” said Maytin, who is recovering from an elbow injury since July.
The Venezuelan native Maytin participated in this year’s Wimbledon Championship pairing with German Benjamin Becker and lost in the first round against Gilles Muller/Aisam-Hul-Al-Qureshi.
He said: “The clay court strategy is clearly set to disrupt Jamie Murray in the critical doubles match.
“Jamie will be playing on a surface that doesn’t help him much, it’s shown by his results on tour.
“I’m sure the Belgians will use their home advantage to the maximum and place the heaviest/slowest clay court possible.
“This will make Jamie’s transition to the net extremely difficult, forcing him to play points from the baseline.
“Jamie is a skilled net player, his game is based on coming into the net, playing fast and decisive volleys.
“Long rallies are not beneficial for his game. But I would presume Captain Leon Smith and his team worked to adapt Jamie as quick as possible to the clay preparing him for the Belgians strategy.”
Maytin made his Davis Cup debut for Venezuela in 2007, participating in a total of 11 confrontations and holds a 6-4 match record.
He said: “Although, you have to see Jamie’s incredible 2015 season, he reached the finals at Wimbledon and US OPEN, and now he will have the chance to play with his brother in a Davis Cup final, it’s just going to boost his confidence.
“Imagine, to have the chance to play with your brother and represent your country, it’s just going to give them more strength to win it.
“This doubles, I believe is going to be the decisive point of the series, and one of the most important games in Jamie’s career, I want to see if he’s able to handle the pressure.”
Maytin believes GB’s doubles team are favorite to win the match. However, he is certain that they must be on top of their game.
“Murray brothers need to be careful; they are going to play against (Steve) Darcis and Kimmer (Coppejans) who are very good players and will have the support of thousands of fans.
“Darcis is quite small, but hits the ball incredibly hard and has lots of experience on clay.
“I’ve had the chance to train several times with Kimmer, he’s very skilled and incredibly fast, doesn’t have a huge serve, but his backhand is deadly and has a good flat forehand, solid from the baseline.
“Davis Cup is not like the tour, with all that home support you can feel invincible and play way over your game,” he said.
The Venezuelan doubles expert will be back on the tour in January, with a petitioned protected ranking filed to the ATP that will allow Maytin to maintain his top hundred ranking throughout nine events in the 2016 season.
Davis Cup Final time of play:
12:30 pm Kyle Edmund vs. David Goffin
Followed by Andy Murray vs. Ruben Bemelmans
14:00 Andy Murray/Jamie Murray vs. Steve Darcis/Kimmer Coppejans
1:30 pm Andy Murray vs. David Goffin
Followed by Steve Darcis vs. Kyle Edmund
Andy Murray 3
Kyle Edmund 100
Jamie Murray Db 7
James Ward 142
David Goffin 15
Steve Darcis 69
Ruben Bemelmans 85
Kimmer Coppejans 132