it’s tough for me.”Ultimately, Australia coach Wally Masur
predicted that Smith would stand or fall by his controversial decision over Evans
.“I think it’s interesting,” he said. 1 Bernard Tomic
, then ranked 54 in the world, at the US
Open just over two years ago.“They have picked him for a reason and maybe the fact he did beat me in the US
was a factor,” Tomic admitted.“For sure it is a tough match and I have to be ready.
However, it is the surprise inclusion of British no. 8 Daniel Evans as his singles team-mate that was the talk of the Emirates Arena, Glasgow today.
The 25-year-old was not even in British team captain Leon Smith’s thinking last Tuesday when he named a squad of five for just four places but this week he leap-frogged his way above Kyle Edmund and James Ward to claim a place in the team.
Smith said: “It wasn’t an easy decision, but having thought about it a lot, the fact that Dan has played a lot of tennis this summer and won a lot of matches - albeit mostly at Futures’ level - winning really helps.
“Having spent a lot of time throughout the years with both James and Kyle over the years I know I have to wear certain hats with them from time to time and the hat I have to wear is that of the selector.
“That makes it the situation where you have to deliver some rough news. I saw Kyle doing his sprints on the running track right there back on it today, it sort of sums him up. Wardy will get over it, it is disappointing because he has played a big part in recent ties.
“But at the end of the day this was going to happen in a team event, and I had to whittle the numbers down.”
Ward only came into contention when Edmund rolled his ankle on Monday and had to cancel a Challenger event in Istanbul to join up with the team.
He has won 15 of his last 17 matches, but the average ranking of his opponents has been 622 in the world and it is 15 months since he last played an opponent in the world’s top 100.
Evans said: “I think when you’ve played at that level it’s always there. I feel ready to play.
It’s a good opportunity to be back in among the guys again. I haven’t been in this environment for a while and I thought I’d be here for the practice, but things have worked out a bit different.
“Coming back to Scotland, there was a great atmosphere. When I watched the last tie on television it sounded very good and I am sure being here it is going to be even better.”
The main argument for his inclusion appears to be the fact he beat Australia’s no. 1 Bernard Tomic, then ranked 54 in the world, at the US Open just over two years ago.
“They have picked him for a reason and maybe the fact he did beat me in the US was a factor,” Tomic admitted.
“For sure it is a tough match and I have to be ready. Like I say, we were all surprised, but I will deal with it over the next 24 hours.
“The last time we played I was up 6-1 and 3-0 I think, and I couldn’t make a ball after that. That’s all I remember.
“It was a very, very windy day, he was very tough and very confident. He’d beaten Kei Nishikori prior to playing me so he was obviously playing well.
‘I had a chance, I was comfortable and cruising, he started playing more freely and he beat me. So it’s not an easy match ? it’s tough for me.”
Ultimately, Australia coach Wally Masur predicted that Smith would stand or fall by his controversial decision over Evans.
“I think it’s interesting,” he said. “As a captain, you make decisions based on what is right at the time. Then you get judged in hindsight.
“So, if Leon gets it right, he’ll be a genius. If he doesn’t, there will be people ready to stick it to him.”