Davis Cup 2023: Andy Murray returns to Great Britain squad for group stage

Andy Murray holding the Davis Cup trophy
Andy Murray helped Great Britain win the Davis Cup in 2015

Davis Cup Finals group stage 2023

Venue: AO Arena, Manchester Dates: 12-17 September.

Coverage: Streaming and live text coverage of GB ties across BBC Sport website, app and iPlayer

The Davis Cup Finals group stage begins this week with Great Britain one of 16 nations trying to make it through to the knockout phase.

Great Britain take on Australia, France and Switzerland in their round-robin group matches at Manchester's AO Arena.

Andy Murray missed the 3-1 victory over Colombia in February but is back in the squad, alongside Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Neal Skupski and Jack Draper.

The top two from Britain's group will advance to November's knockout stages.

"We can't wait to play Davis Cup in Manchester in front of a huge home crowd," Britain's captain Leon Smith said.

"We have a great team with a lot of Davis Cup experience who will be ready to give it everything in a tough group with Australia, Switzerland and France."

Murray, who was integral to Britain ending a 79-year wait for glory in the men's team competition as they triumphed in 2015, was left out of their qualifying win on the Colombian clay.

Smith suggested the surface was not ideal for Murray, who at the time had played just three matches on clay since 2017.

The 36-year-old Scot had offered to sit out the event in Manchester because he "wasn't in a great place after losing in a slam".

"I said [to Smith], if I'm not needed, I completely get that. But, for whatever reason, he asked me to come and I said I would come," Murray said.

"I've always loved playing Davis Cup and any event where you're competing for your country. We have a great group of guys, I love being part of this team; we've got great staff as well. Everyone gets on extremely well.

"I do genuinely believe the team can win the event. That's huge motivation to be a part of it. I want to help the team in any way I can, whether that's on the court or off. We'll see what happens."

Draper, 21, was the last player to be added following his run to the fourth round of the US Open, where he lost to Russian eighth seed Andrey Rublev.

Jack Draper
Jack Draper reached round four of the US Open in 2023 after making the third round in 2022

Calling up Draper also indicates that Smith will rely on Wimbledon doubles champion Skupski and Evans as his doubles partnership, having overlooked Joe Salisbury, who, along with American partner Rajeev Ram, won a third successive US Open men's doubles title on Friday.

Britain need to finish in the top two of the four-team group, played from 12 to 17 September, to make it through to the final stages of the competition in Malaga, Spain, from 21 to 26 November.

What is the format?

Four nations received automatic qualification to the Finals group stage - last year's winners Canada, runners-up Australia and wildcards Italy and Spain.

They have been joined by 12 qualifiers - Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.

The nations have been divided into four groups of four. Group A plays in Bologna, Italy, Group B in Manchester, Group C in Valencia, Spain, and Group D in Split, Croatia.

Each tie features two singles rubbers and one in doubles. The top two in each group after the round-robin phase will move into the knockout phase.

How to watch the Davis Cup

All of Great Britain's matches will be streamed on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website from 13:00 BST with updates on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Fixtures (all 14:00 BST unless stated, groups in brackets)

Tuesday, 12 September: Sweden v Chile (A), France v Switzerland (B, 13:00 BST), Serbia v South Korea (C), Netherlands v Finland (D)

Wednesday, 13 September: Canada v Italy (A), Australia v Great Britain (B, 13:00 BST), Spain v Czech Republic (C), Croatia v United States (D)

Thursday, 14 September: Canada v Sweden (A), Australia v France (B, 13:00 BST), Czech Republic v South Korea (C), Netherlands v United States (D)

Friday, 15 September: Italy v Chile (A), Great Britain v Switzerland (B, 13:00 BST), Spain v Serbia (C), Croatia v Finland (D)

Saturday, 16 September: Canada v Chile (A), Australia v Switzerland (B, 13:00 BST), Serbia v Czech Republic (C), United States v Finland (D)

Sunday, 17 September: Italy v Sweden (A), Great Britain v France (B, 13:00 BST), Spain v South Korea (C), Croatia v Netherlands (D)

Who will Great Britain be up against?

Great Britain's squad includes three players - Norrie, Evans and Murray - ranked in the top 45 in the world, while Skupski won the men's doubles at Wimbledon in July alongside Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands.

Australia are without Nick Kyrgios because of a wrist injury, while their strength in depth is shown with top-50 players Alexei Popyrin and Aleksandar Vukic not being included.

Alex de Minaur is 12th in the world, while Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis are inside the top 80. Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden won the men's doubles at Wimbledon in 2022.

France have a mixture of youth and experience with 19-year-old Arthur Fils, an ATP Tour winner at the Lyon Open in May, alongside doubles specialists Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 39, and Nicolas Mahut, 41.

Top 40 players Ugo Humbert and Adrian Mannarino are also in the French squad.

Switzerland won the Davis Cup in 2014, but no longer have the retired Roger Federer to call upon, although three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, who was in their victorious side nine years ago, again features.

Dominic Stricker, 21, defeated Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2023 US Open before losing in the last 16, while their side also includes Marc-Andrea Huesler and doubles specialists Alexander Ritschard and Leandro Riedi.

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