X-factor rookie Kyle Edmund has declared himself ready to go as Great Britain captain Leon Smith keeps Australia guessing ahead of their Davis Cup semi-final in Glasgow.
Smith rushed Dan Evans into his squad late on Tuesday after Edmund took a tumble and injured his right ankle during practice at the Emirates Arena.
But scans have cleared Edmund of any serious damage, leaving the 20-year-old world No.100 in the running to make his Cup debut against Australian No.1 Bernard Tomic in Friday’s opening singles matches.
“I’ll be very excited to play. It’s obviously something you want to do as a young guy growing up, to play for your country,” Edmund said.
“I’ve been involved for a while amongst the team and I’ve felt the atmosphere and the spirit, so it’ll be a great experience for me if I get chosen to play.
“But whoever gets to play is going to do the best for the team, for the crowd, for the country and it’s the team that matters first.”
Edmund had been earmarked to take over from the out-of-sorts James Ward, winless since Wimbledon.
Smith, though, is playing his cards close to his chest, refusing to reveal his line-up until the deadline of one hour before Thursday’s draw.
The only certainty is that world No.3 Andy Murray, barring injury, will play both singles matches and also potentially partner brother Jamie in Saturday’s all-important doubles at the Emirates Arena.
“I don’t spend the whole week thinking about who’s going to play No.2 singles. That’s not what this is about,” Smith said.
“It’s a team effort and it comes down to helping Andy (Murray) prepare the best he can for his matches and help prepare James or Kyle, whoever plays.”
Murray says his focus is firmly back on tennis after taking five days off to recharge his batteries following a shock fourth-round US Open exit.
“I’ve had a long, long summer,” the British spearhead said after opting to make the 670km drive up to Glasgow from his home in Surrey.
“Also I’ve played some long matches as well at the US Open too. My body needs to rest and recover.
“Hard courts aren’t a forgiving surface on the body. I wanted to take some time off and freshen up before getting here.”
Murray says his availability for doubles hinges on how he feels after Friday’s singles when he’s likely to come up against fresh-legged teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“It depends on what happens. That’s the reality,” Murray said.
“We could be 2-0 up after the first day and that changes things; 2-0 down changes things or regardless of whether or not I win or lose my match on the first day, if I play for four-and-a-half or five hours, it’s tough, clearly, to play the following day and then back it up on Sunday.
“That’s not easy.”