Davis Cup final: Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund lead GB bid

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Flanders Expo
Kyle Edmund, Andy Murray, Davis Cup captain Leon Smith, James Ward and Jamie Murray
Captain Leon Smith (centre) is aiming to oversee Britain's first Davis Cup win since 1936
Davis Cup final: Belgium v Great Britain
Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent Dates: 27-29 November
BBC coverage: Watch on BBC television, the BBC Sport website, Connected TVs, tablets, mobiles and app and listen on Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra. Full details.

Great Britain hope Kyle Edmund can spring a surprise on day one of the final in Belgium and put the visitors within sight of a first Davis Cup victory since 1936.

Edmund will make his competition debut against Belgian number one David Goffin in the opening match (12:30 GMT).

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British number one Andy Murray will then take on world number 108, Ruben Bemelmans.

The best-of-five tie takes place over three days in Ghent's Flanders Expo.

A capacity crowd of 13,000 is expected each day, with more than 1,000 Britons due at each session despite recent security fears in Belgian capital Brussels, 35 miles away.

The British team arrived a day later than planned on Monday but Murray said the team were "comfortable" with security efforts since their arrival.

Davis Cup final draw
Day oneDavid Goffin v Kyle Edmund; Ruben Bemelmans v Andy Murray
Day twoKimmer Coppejans/Steve Darcis v Jamie Murray/Andy Murray
Day threeDavid Goffin v Andy Murray, Ruben Bemelmans v Kyle Edmund

"I know the situation has been difficult for everybody who are making the travel plans," said GB captain Leon Smith.

"But I know they wouldn't miss it because they've watched us so passionately throughout this whole campaign."

The challenge ahead

Andy Murray (left) and Kyle Edmund
Andy Murray (left) will follow Kyle Edmund into action on day one of the Davis Cup final against Belgium in Ghent

Britain are trying to win the 115-year-old competition for the 10th time, but the first since Fred Perry led them to victory over Australia at Wimbledon in 1936.

Two years ago, Murray became the first British man since Perry in 1936 to win the Wimbledon singles title, and now he stands on the verge of matching another of his predecessor's achievements.

"To win the biggest team competition in tennis, having beaten the other three Grand Slam nations [USA, France and Australia in previous rounds], I think it would be a huge victory for everyone in the team," said the Scot.

"It would be well deserved as well. It's taken a lot of time and hard work from many of the players, many of the staff, coaches, physios, everyone."

Belgium have never won the Davis Cup and their only previous final appearance was a 5-0 drubbing by Britain in 1904.

"For us it's a huge event," said Belgian captain Johan Van Herck. "We try to go one further. I think the whole country will be behind us and we'll try to keep the trophy here."

Goffin (world number 16) v Edmund (100) - first meeting

David Goffin and Kyle Edmund shake hands
David Goffin will face Kyle Edmund in Friday's opening match

Van Herck will hope to put some pressure on Murray in the second tie by ensuring the hosts have an early lead. That is the theory.

However, it could just as easily be argued that a surprise win for Edmund would all but determine the tie after just one match, with Murray involved in the next three rubbers.

Goffin said: "I don't know Kyle a lot. I think he has a great potential. On clay he could be a really good opponent. He won challengers on clay court. I think he's really talented."

Edmund said: "This is definitely going to be the biggest crowd I've played in front of. Probably the biggest occasion. It's a new experience for me. It's something I'm going to have to learn as I go through the match. But it's a good problem and it's exciting."

Bemelmans (108) v A. Murray (2) - first meeting

Ruben Bemelmans and Andy Murray
Ruben Bemelmans (left) will aim to cause a shock against Andy Murray on Friday

The second rubber appears something of a mismatch, with left-hander Bemelmans having won just three matches on the ATP Tour this year, compared to Murray's 69 wins and four titles.

Murray also boasts a terrific record in the Davis Cup, with just two singles defeats - against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in 2005 and Italy's Fabio Fognini in 2014 - and 25 victories.

The issue for Murray could well be preserving energy on the indoor clay court before two more days of doubles and singles action.

Bemelmans said: "It's the first confrontation I have with him, match or practice. It's going to be new for him, as well. I think I probably know him better, how he plays, than him me. Maybe I have a slight advantage there."

Murray said: "I know his game a bit, but actually I don't know the Belgian players that well because I've never played against any of them except Goffin. It's quite a strange situation to be in. Whoever had played the first day, I would never have practised with them or played against them, so it doesn't change much."

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