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Who should feature for Great Britain in Davis Cup semi-final?

Sports Mole assesses who could gain selection for Great Britain when they play Australia in the Davis Cup semi-finals later this month.

With the final major of the year currently in progress at Flushing Meadows, all eyes from a British viewpoint are on Andy Murray, who is bidding to win the US Open for a second time. However, in two weeks' time, attention will turn to the Davis Cup, where Great Britain face Australia in Glasgow.

Providing that he comes through his New York exertions unscathed, Murray is a certainty to be selected by captain Leon Smith, but the second singles pick is up in the air, with James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans all vying for a chance to compete in front of a partisan crowd as the team look to feature in a final for the first time since 1978.

Below, Sports Mole assesses the chances of the trio, who all have cases for and against their potential selection.

James Ward

James Ward of Great Britain in Gentlemens Singles first round match against Luca Vanni of Italy during day two of Wimbledon on June 30, 2015© Getty Images

If you had already defeated John Isner 15-13 in a final set to effectively seal the tie for your team against the United States before reaching the third round of Wimbledon for the first time, you could probably justify your place in the side for the biggest tie in 37 years, but for James Ward, his potential selection gets a bit more complicated.

Despite his previous success, and breaking into the world's top 100 for the first time, Ward has endured an horrendous two months on the ATP Tour. If you include his defeat to Gilles Simon in the last-eight tie with France, the 28-year-old has lost nine matches in a row - not exactly the confidence boost that you need ahead of what would be three of the most important days of your career.

In fairness to Ward, some of his losses have been to high-calibre and in-form opposition. Alexandr Dolgopolov reached the semi-finals in Cincinnati after beating Ward in the qualifying rounds, while Chung Hyeon went three tie-break sets with Stanislas Wawrinka at the US Open just a week-and-a-half after being taken the distance by the Londoner. Nevertheless, no wins since July 2 has been disastrous for Ward and his place in the side has come under fierce pressure.

Ward does have experience and a record of pulling off major upsets in the past but Leon Smith must consider whether he can realistically expect Ward to turn things around in the most unforgiving environments, against opponents that could include Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, if internal disputes are settled.

Kyle Edmund

Kyle Edmund of Great Britain celebrates a point against Julien Benneteau of France during their first round match on March 19, 2014© Getty Images

Like Ward, Kyle Edmund enjoyed a productive first six months to the year. Not only did he successfully qualify for the Australian Open and Roland Garros, he collected his second Challenger title, and those results took him to the brink of the world's top 100. The 20-year-old has since made that move, but his progress took a severe dent last week during the US Open qualifying rounds.

At 5-2 up against Yoshihito Nishioka in the final qualifying round, Edmund looked on course to complete the set of Grand Slam tournaments for the year, but his Japanese opponent, whom he had previously beaten six times in a row, saved three match points on the way to winning five successive games to secure the spot in New York.

If Edmund continues his progression, he should still feature in plenty of matches at the US Open, but it would have been a huge disappointment, especially when Nishioka got a favourable draw against Paul-Henri Mathieu. He has shown in the past that he can shake off bad losses to put together a run of victories, but the Davis Cup is a different obstacle altogether compared to facing players outside of the top 100 in the rankings.

Regardless of whether he is selected for the singles or not, Edmund should still form part of Smith's squad, but he is unlikely to be thrust into action for his competitive Davis Cup debut in such a major battle. If all goes well though, expect Edmund to be a regular pick next year.

Dan Evans

British qualifier Dan Evans plays a forehand on his way to a shock victory over Kei Nishikori in the first round of the US Open on August 26, 2013© Getty Images

Over the past couple of years, Dan Evans has been regarded as the enigma of British tennis. Two years ago, almost to the day, Evans was beating the likes of Kei Nishikori and Tomic at the US Open, but since that event, injuries and a dramatic loss of form left Evans in the doldrums, with his world ranking tumbling to as low as 772.

However, since almost qualifying for Wimbledon, Evans has showed signs of regaining the belief that saw him establish himself as Britain's number two not so long ago. The 25-year-old has registered 24 wins from 27 attempts, albeit at the second and third tiers of the sport, but the Birmingham hitter is oozing confidence right now, more so than his rivals for the second spot.

Ahead of his appearance in the final of a futures event at Roehampton, Evans is provisionally up to 204th place for the year, which is outstanding given that he didn't win any rankings points until the second week in May. He may have been out of the reckoning since January 2014 but if reports are to be believed, he is being considered for a recall by Smith.

Would that be harsh on Ward given his previous exploits in the competition? Most definitely, but Smith needs to be ruthless with his decision. On an indoor court in Scotland, who has the best chance of gaining a potentially decisive point for his country? Based on the last few weeks, you would have to side with Evans.

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