Davis Cup: Edmund earns selection nod to kick off Great Britain’s final challenge

Great Britain's Kyle Edmund during a training session at the Flanders Expo Centre, Ghent.

Great Britain's Kyle Edmund during a training session at the Flanders Expo Centre, Ghent.

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Yorkshire’s Kyle Edmund will make his Davis Cup debut for Great Britain in the final against Belgium but James Ward has also been named in the team by captain Leon Smith.

Smith had been expected to choose between the two to be the second singles player alongside Andy Murray but instead has kept his options open, with doubles specialist Dominic Inglot the man to miss out from the original five-man squad named last week.

Edmund, from Beverley, had been favourite to get the nod after winning a tournament on clay, which will be the surface for the tie in Ghent starting on Friday, two weeks ago.

And, barring a late change, the 20-year-old will play the opening match on Friday against Belgian No 1 David Goffin before Murray takes on Ruben Bemelmans.

The doubles rubber on Saturday will pit Andy and Jamie Murray against Steve Darcis and Kimmer Coppejans, with the reverse singles likely to decide the winners of the trophy on Sunday.

Given the players for each rubber do not have to be confirmed until an hour before play each day, there is always the possibility of changes.

Smith is likely to have included Ward in the team to give him another option should the tie go to a decisive fifth rubber.

Edmund’s inexperience could then prove a crucial factor, particularly given that Belgian number two Darcis has an excellent record in deciding rubbers.

Picking three singles players means, barring injury or illness, Andy Murray will have to play on all three days.

The relative weakness of Belgium’s doubles pair in comparison to Britain’s previous opponents may well have persuaded Smith that he did not need the insurance of Inglot.

The Londoner has been in the team for all three previous ties this season but only played in the first-round match against USA.

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