Smith: We believe we can win

  • Last Updated: April 3 2014, 7:49 BST

Great Britain's Davis Cup captain Leon Smith admits his team face a "big challenge" in Italy this weekend but is confident they can progress to the semi-finals.

The Great Britain team face a 'big challenge' in Italy
The Great Britain team face a 'big challenge' in Italy

Smith's team, which will be led on court by world number eight Andy Murray, take on the Italians in Naples on their least-favourite surface of clay.

GB did beat the USA on the red dirt earlier in the year but the European clay is expected to play much differently, while the hosts have players more at home on the surface, such as world number 13 Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi.

Speaking on Wednesday, Smith said: "We believe we can win which is important and we feel we've earned the right to be here.

"We've got a great shot at winning this tie but it is going to be a big, big challenge because of a few factors.

"One, they've got a very, very good team, a strong team. We're away from home again, I think the crowd will play a part and the surface, so there's a few challenges but I think we're strong enough mentally and have enough quality to put up a really good fight."

While the home fans have been highlighted as one of the hurdles his team will have to overcome, Smith is hopeful that 700 travelling supporters will play their part too.

He added: "(Having the home support) is the nature of Davis Cup. What makes it so special is that you have that home and away element and long may that continue.

"It obviously does have an impact. It's great to have a home tie.

"We always really enjoy having our own fans.

"That said, we've got a lot of people coming to support. It shows how much people have engaged with what the team has been doing, what we can do and to have over 700 people coming to support us will definitely help as well."

The draw for the tie takes place on Thursday at which point Smith will have to decide whether to call doubles specialist Ross Hutchins into his team.

Hutchins, who returned to the ATP World Tour at the start of the season having won his battle against cancer, was originally named as a travelling reserve.

Dan Evans and James Ward are fighting for the second singles spot with Murray set to partner Colin Fleming in the doubles unless Hutchins is called upon.

If GB win the tie, which starts on Friday and ends on Sunday, they will play host to either favourites Switzerland or Kazakhstan in September's semi-finals.

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