Olympic final opponents Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro will resume hostilities in Friday’s opening Davis Cup semi-final singles match between Argentina and defending champions Great Britain in Glasgow.
The duo fought out an intense men’s Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro last month, with Murray eventually prevailing after more than four hours to claim a second successive gold medal.
Thursday’s draw paired them in the opening rubber at Glasgow’s hardcourt Emirates Arena, with Kyle Edmund then taking on Guido Pella.
Murray, the world number two, will team up with brother Jamie in Saturday’s doubles against Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer.
Andy Murray will tackle Pella in Sunday’s penultimate singles match before Edmund, who reached the fourth round at the US Open, and world number 64 Del Potro bringing the curtain down.
World number two Murray, who spearheaded Britain’s charge last year, will again be key to their hopes.
An exhausting European summer that began with him reaching the French Open final, and then saw him win a second Wimbledon title and retain his Olympic crown, caught up with the Scot when he lost to Kei Nishikori in the US Open quarter-finals.
But Murray is planning to be back at full throttle this weekend. “I took a few days off after New York, then came here and I’ve been practising since Sunday. I get a little break after I’m finished here so one more big push this weekend,” he said.
“We want to try to do it again this year if possible. It’s going to be hard but I want to win all the events I can. I want to try and finish the year as strong as possible.
“It’s been the best year of my career so far and I hope I can keep it going,” added Murray, who won 11 out of 11 rubbers for his country last year.
His clash with Del Potro will be pivotal with the Argentine, working his way back after multiple wrist surgery, a healthy 12-4 in Davis Cup singles.
Del Potro is 64th in the world, having been number four in 2010, but is still ranked below Guido Pella and Federico Delbonis who are Argentina’s other singles options.
Britain beat Belgium 3-1 in last year’s final on clay in Ghent to claim a first Davis Cup crown since 1936.
The British team, captained by Leon Smith, overcame Serbia in this year’s quarter-finals, while Daniel Orsanic’s Argentina defeated Italy.
The winners of the tie will play either Croatia or France in the final in November.
(With inputs from Reuters)