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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Andy Murray given leeway on Davis Cup

Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper is happy for Andy Murray to miss future Davis Cup matches as the Scot focuses on winning Grand Slams.

Murray hinted after Great Britain's relegation to Europe/Africa Zone Group II that it might be time to give other players an opportunity.

The British number one won both his singles rubbers but could not prevent a 3-2 defeat by Poland last weekend, which relegated Great Britain to the Davis Cup third tier.

And after the contest, the 22-year-old Scot said: "If I'm fit I'll play in the matches if the captain or the coach really, really wants me to play.

"If not they could be looking to the future to try to give these guys an opportunity.

"It's not a huge amount of progress if I win my matches and then we come into this level again and go straight back down.

"We need to make sure the guys who come in are ready and experienced enough to deal with these sort of matches. Right now they aren't."

World number three Murray played in the tie despite carrying a wrist injury but it was rookie Dan Evans who contested the decisive fifth rubber against Poland's Michal Przysiezny and the 19-year-old looked out of his depth as he lost 6-2 6-1 7-5.

And Draper added of Murray's suggestion that he might not play in Europe/Africa Zone Group II: "I'd completely understand why he'd be making those decisions because at the end of the day Andy should be focusing his attentions on winning Grand Slams.

"The choice is down to Andy Murray. Of course we'd love him to play for his country, but the reality is that Andy is at a different level now and it may be a fantastic opportunity to start blooding some of these players.

"Now may be the time to get some of these youngsters battle-hardened in tougher environments but you always want to open the door for Andy to play."

The second highest ranked British male player is James Ward (189), followed by Josh Goodall (235), Alex Bogdanovic (247) and Evans (303).

And team captain John Lloyd has already stated that more determination is required to develop a winning mentality.

"Do we need more hunger and steel out there? Yes we do," he said. "And maybe going down, we're going to be more ruthless with who we cut out of things.

"We can get tougher no doubt about it. I think if we do it the right way and dump some guys who should not, and will not be involved in teams if I'm around, I think we can get a good spirit going."

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