Davis Cup final: Andy Murray confident for crucial doubles

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Flanders Expo, Ghent
Highlights: Andy Murray levels Davis Cup tie
Davis Cup final doubles: Belgium v Great Britain
Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent Dates: 27-29 November
BBC coverage: Watch on BBC One, the BBC Sport website, Connected TVs, tablets, mobiles and app and listen on Radio 5 live sports extra. Full details.

Andy Murray believes he and brother Jamie can take Great Britain to the verge of Davis Cup victory in Saturday's doubles against Belgium.

The pair will aim to put Britain 2-1 up in the best-of-five tie when the doubles gets under way at 14:00 GMT in Ghent.

"I believe in myself," said Murray. "I believe in me and Jamie as a doubles team, as well."

Britain are trying to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936.

"I believe we can win the tie, obviously, otherwise there would be no point in us being there," added Murray. "But it's going to be tough, for sure."

Steve Darcis and Kimmer Coppejans were named for the doubles in the initial Belgian line-up, but the latter is likely to be replaced by David Goffin or Ruben Bemelmans.

In the opening day's singles, Goffin came back to beat Kyle Edmund in five sets, and Murray then won a feisty encounter with Ruben Bemelmans in straight sets.

'GB can win without doubles point'

With the tie now certain to go into a third and final day, both Murray and GB captain Leon Smith played down suggestions that everything hinges on the doubles result.

The Murray brothers scored crucial points as a doubles team against France in the quarter-final and Australia in the semi-final.

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"I don't think it's as important as in some of the ties," said Murray.

"It's an important match, obviously. Every point is. But I don't think for either team, if you lose it, that the tie is over because I think both teams are capable of winning all of the points here."

Asked whether he would draft in James Ward to replace Edmund, beaten on day one, in a potential fifth singles rubber on Sunday, Smith added: "We won't do anything until Saturday night.

"We'll see how everyone is, see how the doubles has gone."

Davis Cup doubles 'never easy'

Andy Murray has won his last five Davis Cup doubles matches, three of them alongside his brother, and has racked up a total of nine points for Britain this year.

Jamie, meanwhile, has enjoyed the best year of his career by reaching two Grand Slam finals and the ATP World Tour Finals, leaving the Britons as strong favourites on Saturday.

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But after being tested by Bemelmans in front of 13,000 energised spectators, nothing is being taken for granted.

"Goffin's a top-quality player when he plays well," said Andy Murray.

"He's ranked 15, 16 in the world, plays well on the clay. I'm aware that will be a very tough match to win. In the doubles, Davis Cup is always tough, never easy, just because of the way doubles is played."

Belgium keep 'all options' open

The home side have changed their doubles team for all three previous ties this year, winning twice, with Bemelmans appearing each time.

However, captain Johan Van Herck could opt to bring in Goffin, who at world number 16 in singles is the highest-class player available.

"All the other options" were possible, said Van Herck after Friday's singles matches.

And he rejected any notion that Belgian hopes would ultimately depend on Goffin pulling off a shock win over Murray in the reverse singles.

"This Davis Cup final is not only about Murray against Goffin on Sunday," Van Herck added.

"There's a big match on Saturday. There's another big match, a fifth match, [on Sunday] if necessary."

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