Andy Murray will face a 16-year-old in the first rubber of Great Britain’s Davis Cup World Group play-off against Croatia today.
It will be a battle of US Open junior champions past and present when Murray takes on Borna Coric in Umag.
Coric followed in Murray’s footsteps by winning the US Open junior title last Saturday and was a surprise choice to be Croatia’s No 2 singles player for this weekend by captain Zeljko Krajan.
The teenager has a British coach, Ryan Jones, and spends part of his time training in London. But he doesn’t fancy his chances of causing an upset against Murray this afternoon.
“I don’t think I can win – only if he injures himself,” said Coric last night. “It’s going to be tough.
“It’s unbelievable to play for my country. When I was eight or nine we won the Davis Cup – I was watching on the TV and hoping one day I’m going to play there.”
Dan Evans has been picked as Britain’s second singles player, while Murray has put himself forward to play in the doubles rubber with Colin Fleming, which means he is scheduled to play on all three days.
Murray and fellow Scot Fleming, who he has known since their junior days, reached the final of the Montreal Masters last month. But, should Murray play a long match against Coric, then former Wimbledon doubles champion Jonny Marray will step in to play with his regular partner against Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic.
Britain are aiming to return to the World Group for the first time since beating Croatia in a play-off six years ago.
Murray is playing in his first Davis Cup tie for two years and has called on the tournament to become “a mandatory event”. “We’re told which events to play throughout the whole year,” said the Scot. “They should make Davis Cup a mandatory event so it isn’t up for discussion.”