SIXTEEN-year-old Borna Coric is the first obstacle in Andy Murray’s path this morning as he attempts to lead Great Britain back into the Davis Cup elite for the first time in five years.
Despite his tender years Coric is no pushover, having won the US Open boys’ title last week at Flushing Meadows – just as the Scot did himself nine years ago. But he is only in the team because Croatia, who have home advantage, are without Marin Cilic and Ivo Karlovic, two of their three highest ranked players.
Murray is joined by Dan Evans, the British No2 who enjoyed a breakthrough at the US Open and faces world No35 Ivan Dodig in today’s second singles rubber. The Wimbledon champion is due to partner Colin Fleming in the doubles, although the late inclusion of specialist Jonny Marray could mean a change.
Victory over the 2005 Davis Cup winners would propel Great Britain back into the World Group, which consists of the top 16 nations, for the first time since 2008. History may be on their side, however, as Britain won the only previous meeting between the teams in 2007, coincidentally another World Group play-off.
Murray, 26, was absent when Britain upset Russia in April and last week surrendered his US Open title in the quarter-finals against in-form Stanislas Wawrinka.
Croatia v Great Britain
Coric v Murray; Dodig v Evans
Dodig/Pavic v Murray/Fleming
Dodig v Murray
Coric v Evans