Andy Murray is Key to Great Britain's Davis Cup Challenge
Next week Great Britain and Belgium will fight it out to be named Davis Cup Champions for 2015.
Great Britain have not reached the final since 1978. The last time they won the Cup was in 1936 when Fred Perry led his team to a 3-2 victory over Australia on the Wimbledon grass courts.
The last time the two teams met was in 2012 in Glasgow. Because the teams alternate the hosting of Davis Cup ties Belgium will host the final. Belgium's best result in the Davis Cup was when they were runners up in 1904.
Belgium had a very tough semi final with Argentina. It went down to the 5th and final rubber and Steve Darcis beat Federico Delbonis in 4 sets.
Andy Murray had a huge hand in securing the semi final victory for Great Britain over Australia. Murray won both his singles matches and also combined with brother Jamie to take the doubles.
Preparation for the final has not been ideal for Murray. As number 2 in the world he qualified for the World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena the week before the Davis Cup final. The Tour Finals are held on indoor hard courts whereas the Davis Cup final will be on indoor clay courts.
Murray had initially said he would like to concentrate on preparing for the Davis Cup in the week before the final. ATP bosses stepped in to remind him that the Tour Finals are a mandatory event. Unless a player is injured they must play. The consequences for Murray if he didn't play would have been huge fines and there was even the potential for him being banned from the tour. At the time of writing Murray has one win over Ferrer at the Tour Finals and he followed that up with a very half hearted display against Nadal. I expect him to lose Thursday's third Round Robin match with Wawrinka as he will not want to be involved in the semi finals. He needs to conserve energy and also needs to switch his practise to clay courts.
Fears over a possible terrorist attack have led to Belgium's football team's match with Spain being cancelled. It was due to take place next Tuesday. ATP officials have confirmed that the Davis Cup final will go ahead but the security for the event will be increased.
The British squad had been named as Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund and James Ward along with doubles specialists Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot.
Great Britain's captain, Leon Smith, has not decided who will be the second singles player alongside Andy Murray. Following the team's semi final victory he told the players to make themselves "undroppable" and to prove their ability on clay.
Kyle Edmund responded in the best possible style by winning a Challenger title on clay in Buenos Aires. He beat local favourite Berlocq in the final in straight sets. He has never played a Davis Cup match. This could count against him.
James Ward doesn't have a great record on clay. He did have a fantastic win over John Isner in a Davis Cup tie but that was on an indoor hard court. He has a lot of Davis Cup experience and that really is his only bargaining tool for the other singles spot.
Belgium have named David Goffin, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans in their final squad.
Goffin has won 11 of his 13 previous Davis Cup singles matches and it is vital for Belgium's chances that he performs at his best. He has never beaten Murray though they haven't met on clay. Murray has had an excellent season on clay in 2015.
Steve Darcis doesn't have a terrific clay record. Having said that he can often find big performances when it is least expected.
The doubles match is likely to be important. I would fancy Edmund having a chance of beating Darcis if they should meet in the singles but failing that the doubles will be a key rubber. The Murray brothers did well in the semi final and I would expect them to win that match.
Home advantage is a huge factor in Davis Cup. The normally respectful tennis spectators become like rabid football supporters for the Davis Cup ties.
Great Britain will start the final as huge favourites and are currently priced at 1.35 to lift the trophy. The whole result does seem to rest with Andy Murray. He has said himself that he takes longer to make the transition from hard courts to clay than many other players do.
Murray has had his best ever season on clay this year. He won the titles in Munich and also Madrid where he beat Nadal in the final. He also reached the semi finals of the French Open where he lost in 5 sets to Djokovic.
I expect Great Britain to take the Davis Cup. Without Andy Murray they wouldn't have made it this far and he will carry them over the final hurdle.
The final starts on Friday with two singles rubbers. The doubles are on Saturday with potentially two more singles rubbers on Sunday.