Murray-less Britain still optimistic ahead of Davis Cup quarterfinal with France

Despite being without the services of their, and the world’s, best player, Andy Murray, Great Britain are full of belief ahead of their last-eight clash with France in the Davis Cup.

In an injury-riddled tie, Murray is the most notable name on the absentee list as he continues to recover from an elbow injury. However, France have their fair share of problems too. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils are all unavailable for the Tricolore.

Kyle Edmund (ranked 45th in the world) will play Lucas Pouille (ranked 17th in the world) in the opening match before Dan Evans (ranked 43rd in the world) takes on surprise French choice Jeremy Chardy (ranked 69th in the world) in the second singles match.

Saturday's doubles will see Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot face Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau before the reverse singles on Sunday.

The tie will be played in France on clay and while the two sets of players seem relatively evenly matched, the advantage of playing on a surface they are so comfortable on make Yannick Noah’s group the more likely to progress to the semi-finals.

However, Britain’s captain, Leon Smith, is still hopeful of causing an upset.

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"They should be favourites as the home team,” Smith, who lead Britain to Davis Cup glory in 2015, said.

“We're obviously going to have to perform very well over the weekend away from home on their chosen surface, in front of their home fans.

"They've got amazing strength and depth but anything is possibly really. It's not like we're having to make up huge ranking deficits. They're missing a few players, we're missing our number one player as well.

"I think it is going to be very competitive but obviously we're going to have to perform very well to get through."

In other ties, Novak Djokovic pulls on his Serbia shirt for this weekend's Davis Cup quarter-final against Spain in Belgrade while Nick Kyrgios will be leading Australia's charge when Lleyton Hewitt's side host USA in a clash of the heavyweights.

Belgium, the only one of the quarter-finalists never to have lifted the trophy, will have their top player David Goffin back for the home clash with Italy in Charleroi.

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