Greg RUSEDSKI believes Kyle Edmund’s involvement in the British Davis Cup team is overdue even though the Beverley teenager was a surprise inclusion for this weekend’s crucial tie with the United States.
Great Britain captain Leon Smith made the bold decision earlier this month to pick Edmund, 19, for the nation’s first World Group tie for six years at the expense of British No 2 Dan Evans.
It was a call that took many by surprise with Edmund so low in the world rankings that he is effectively Britain’s No 7.
He is, though, a clay court specialist, with the tie to be decided from today on a clay court surface at a baseball park in San Diego.
And former Davis Cup player and US Open finalist Rusedski believes the powerful baseliner is worthy of his place.
Rusedski said: “I would have picked him for the last tie but, obviously, Leon picked Dan Evans because of his great form at the US Open.
“I think Kyle has been playing very well and I think it’s time to put the youngster in for experience.
“He’s dedicated, he works hard and he’s doing all the right things. I know he is very patriotic and wants to play for his country.
“Kyle has been our best junior in Britain for the last few years.
“This is his first year in the professional game and he has already been as high up as 300 in the world and he’s by far our best prospect.
“He was at the training camp with Andy Murray before the Australian Open and he’s been practising and playing all his events on the clay courts for the last two and a half years so he is prepared to play second singles.
“It’s not really a surprise, from my point of view, that he’s been called up because he was a stalwart when Great Britain won the Junior Davis Cup for the first time in 2011.”
Edmund will sit and watch the first day’s action as Wimbledon champion Andy Murray plays Donald Young and James Ward faces Sam Querrey.
Rusedski added: “It’s going to be a tough tie for Great Britain but the good news is Andy is looking fit and healthy at the moment.
“It’s about dealing with the pressure and dealing with the situations and making sure your players are prepared and that’s something Leon Smith is good at. He does all the scouting, all the tactics and trains them so the team will be well prepared.
“If you beat America it gets more people behind the national team. I think it will also get more people involved in the game because tennis is almost always an individual sport and the only time it becomes a team sport is during the Davis Cup.”