Re: Europe/Africa Zone Group I 1R: Slovak Republic @ Great Britain (February 10-12, 2
Even with Murray, we wouldn't have been guaranteed a win. It might have come down to Ward vs. Klizan, as the doubles isn't as much in our favour as people might think. A few tense moments from Fleming and Hutchins, and we'll be in big trouble.
Without Murray, obviously the tie is so much more difficult, but I side with the pundits in thinking that we can still win. Two matches are winnable - Ward's against Klizan, and the doubles. So it is up to us to take our chances in those, and at least try to lead 2-1 going into Sunday, and see if we could pull something special out of the bag for a third winning rubber.
Apparently Evans has been hitting the ball well in training, so hopefully Smith and the rest of the team can empower him. His serve is a weakness, but he is a talented guy, so it would be nice if he could do himself justice. Beating Lacko is probably out of the question (as it is likely to be for Ward too), but if it comes down to a live 5th rubber against Klizan, Evans might surprise us.
Unfortunately, he can be remembered for almost relegating us twice (from Group I against Poland, and nearly into Group III after Lithuania), but he did acquit himself well against Berankis in Vilnius...took him to 5 sets.
Just got to hope that Ward can play a good match tomorrow, as everyone knows that a 0-2 situation effectively ends our chances.
I'm going to predict 3-2 to Team GB. Had a gut feeling even since Murray's withdrawal, so it will be interesting to see if the guys can deliver.