The Reuters global sports blog
The future of British tennis
The Great Britain Junior Davis Cup team were trying to win the Junior Davis Cup for the first time in UK history. We have a great team and were seeded number 1 because we won the European team championships for the first time this summer.
The team consisted of Kyle Edmund at number 1, who at 16 had made the semi-finals of the junior U.S. Open, Luke Bambridge at number 2, and Evan Hoyt at number 3. We prepared very well by getting to Mexico 6 days early to acclimatise to the altitude, time zone, and heat. We were determined to win. The reason we arrived 6 days early is that it takes a day for every hour to adjust to the time zone. The ball flies quicker and further through the air because of the altitude. Also in altitude it is harder to breath because of the air.
As the number 1 seeds we drew Thailand, Germany and Canada in our group to qualify for the semi-finals. We had to beat all the teams to be certain of qualifying, which we did. We won all our matches but it wasn’t quite as straight forward as that. Evan Hoyt our third ranked boy was struck down with food poisoning an hour before his opening match against Thailand and our number 1 Kyle Edmund was on antibiotics for the whole event because of a fever and couldn’t play singles on the opening day against Thailand. These kinds of situations are always a balancing act, but the depth of the team is so good that we could play any one of the three boys.
In the semi-finals we played France and won convincingly, 3-0 to make the finals for the second time in our history. In the finals we played Italy who had not lost a match all the way through the tournament. I had a tough decision to play our number 2 or 3 in the 2nd singles match. I went with our number 3 Evan Hoyt because he had just played slightly better throughout and matched up well against the Italian number 2. These are the decisions a captain has to get right if we are to win. He won in straight sets 6-4 6-2 and then Kyle Edmund our number 1 won 6-3 6-4 to seal our first ever Junior Davis Cup.
We accomplished something very special and I am very proud of our team. Team GB also made another bit of history this year by winning the Winter Cup, Summer Cup, and Junior Davis Cup all in one season which has never been done before. It might never be matched. The depth is coming in the boys junior game and now it is time to transition these talented players into the senior game in a couple of years. The future looks very bright for British tennis.