Davis Cup previews and picks: Murray vs. Goffin, Edmund vs. Bemelmans

Goffin 1Andy Murray will have a chance to clinch the Davis Cup title for Great Britain when he takes the court against David Goffin on Sunday in Belgium. If Goffin pulls off an upset, the trophy will all come down to Kyle Edmund vs. Ruben Bemelmans.

Andy Murray (GBR) vs. David Goffin (BEL)

Murray and Goffin will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they clash in the fourth rubber of the Davis Cup final between Great Britain and Belgium on Sunday afternoon. Both of their previous encounters have been dominated by Murray. The Scot cruised 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 at Wimbledon in 2014 and 6-1, 6-0 earlier this month on the indoor hard courts of Paris.

For the most part both men were already focused on Davis Cup when they most recently collided at the Paris Masters. Murray still had the World Tour Finals on his schedule, but he practiced on clay the week prior to the London festivities and thoroughly underwhelmed at the O2 while getting eliminated prior the semifinals. The world No. 2 won his Friday singles rubber 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 over Ruben Bemelmans. Goffin preceded that match by overcoming Kyle Edmund in a surprising five-setter. The world No. 16 came out tight but recovered to storm past the underdog Brit 3-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-0. Goffin will make this far more competitive than he has been in the past against Murray, as he is more motivated, playing on a slower surface, and will enjoy home-court advantage. In the end, however, the discrepancy in serve will be too much and Murray will have too much firepower for Goffin. Count on Murray clinching the Brits’ first Davis Cup title since 1936.

Pick: Murray in 4

Kyle Edmund (GBR) vs. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)

Should Goffin stun the tennis world and set up a live fifth rubber, Edmund and Bemelmans would face each other for the first time in their careers amidst the grandest of occasions. Both players got the day off from doubles action on Saturday after losing their respective openers. Edmund put a serious scare into Goffin and has to be proud of his effort despite fading fast in sets three through five. Bemelmans also held up well but simply got outclassed by a far superior opponent in Murray.

Edmund registers right at No. 100 in the world and is likely to gain direct entry into the 2016 Australian Open. The 20-year-old, however, is extremely short on big-match experience. He is 1-5 at the ATP level this season and a horrendous 2-13 for his entire career. Bemelmans, on the other hand, is 27 years old and has played 48 career ATP-level matches–winning 14. The lefty made an unexpected run to the third round of the U.S. Open this summer. If somehow this rubber is live, Bemelmans should use his experience and the home crowd to get the best of his younger adversary.

Pick (if rubber is live): Bemelmans in 4

34 Comments on Davis Cup previews and picks: Murray vs. Goffin, Edmund vs. Bemelmans

  1. Nothing but admiration for the GB Davis Cup team, in particular Leon Smith for the way he has guided them to the top and Andy Murray for juggling the commitments in life.

    Go GB Go

  2. Posted my prediction on the other thread. Reposting it here

    Luckily they will both be tired for their third rubber of the weekend but hopefully they will rise to the occasion and produced a fitting climax to this DC final. it’s quite possible it could go the distance but I’m relying on Murray to get it done in four sets – my nerves wont stand up to the tension of a deciding set.

    Murray in 4

    but wouldn’t be shocked it it takes 5

  3. Leon Smith has been lucky in getting Andy to fully commit to paying DC, something his predecessors couldn’t manage. James Ward has also played a significant role in beating Isner against all the odds which has enabled GB to progress to the final. Ward is now experienced enough to take on the top 100 something he was not capable of doing under previous captains of the team.

    The Murray family have carried this current to team to heights they could only dream of in the days when they were languishing at the bottom of the ladder and I honestly think Judy Murray should be made a Dame for her contribution to British Sporting Achievements. Without her two boys we would still be waiting for a post Fred Perry Wimbledon and probably DC title.

    Go Andy!

  4. Leon Smith coached the young Andy at one point. They are very good friends and I rather suspect Andy was instrumental in his appointment as team captain.

    ––’Judy Murray should be made a Dame for her contribution to British Sporting Achievements’––

    Absolutely with a commendation for her courage in enduring the agony of being courtside to watch Andy’s matches.

    Pity she can’t get him to tone down the obscenties.

  5. ed, “Absolutely with a commendation for her courage in enduring the agony of being courtside to watch Andy’s matches.”

    Andy got a warning for audible verbal obscenities during his match against Bemelmans. I would hazard a guess that nothing Andy says on court surprises Judy. Kim has been known to swear in public during a tennis match as well so maybe it’s normal for them although Jamie doesn’t do that but he’s seems to have a quiet personality.

  6. Goffin is not particularly tall for a tennis player but boy he can hit the fluff of the ball.
    The Belgians celebrating every point he wins like he has won the match. The Barmy Army have incredible staying power – partying all night and still making more noise than the home crowd.

  7. I’m listening to the mother of all ‘Andy sycophants’ in Castle and Lloyd. I put that in inverted commas for a good reason – read ‘fake’. During the doubles match yesterday, Lloyd declared that if Andy played doubles regularly he would be top 5 in the world. Notwithstanding the fact that amongst regular singles players Andy has no doubles titles compared to Rafa with 9, Fed with 8 and strong doubles players like Popsocks, Nando, Dodig, Fog, Bolelli, Isner, Querrey, Stan, Feli, etc. etc. etc.

    • Yes, Andy beat a diffident Rafa in Madrid all of a sudden that makes Andy unbeatable on clay. I’m so glad Rafa duffed him up at the O2 otherwise we would have been bombarded with how Andy is too strong for Rafa now beating him twice in a row this year blah, blah, blah. Throughout the O2, they airbrushed their h2h and went on and on about how Andy duffed up Rafa in Madrid to take the title this year.

  8. Sublime passing shots coming thick and fast from Murray. Goffin serving to stay in the set. Saves several BPs and holds. Andy serving for the set.

  9. Great serving by Murray to hold serve in the 2nd game after the shameful time violation call. Surprised Andy kept his cool after all the heckling from the crowd.

  10. Goffin is playing such a good match. He is changing direction of the ball really well. he equally deserves to win this set. I hope he wins a set at least because he is putting in lots of effort.

  11. Murray immediately breaks back to level at 1:1. I don’t recall him using the drop shot to such great effective as he has throughout the weekend. Goffin doesn’t look like he can hang with Murray for very much longer. Murray also flagging slightly but holds his own serve.

  12. Magnificent staging for the presentation ceremony with Carmina Burana being played during the firework displayed.

  13. Hope you will all forgive me for my over-excited posts during the matches. Got a bit carried away by all the tension 🙂

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