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Andy Murray describes 'emotionally challenging' decision to skip home Davis Cup tie

Hannah Wilks in News 4 Sep 2018
  • Andy Murray has pulled out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan in Glasgow
  • Murray may not get another chance to play at home
  • Relegation tie now meaningless due to next year's Davis Cup format changes
Andy Murray during the US Open (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Former British world no. 1 Andy Murray has pulled out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan in Glasgow, which could be his last chance to play tennis in Scotland, to continue rehabilitation.


Andy Murray has decided not to play for Great Britain during their World Group play-off tie against Uzbekistan, which will be played at Glasgow's Emirates Arena from 14-16 September.

Murray called the decision 'emotionally quite challenging' in an Instagram post in which he explained why he was not intending to take part.

I just wanted to write a quick message to apologise to the British davis cup team and all the fans who are coming to watch in Glasgow and support on tv. I have genuinely loved competing in this Davis cup format over the course of my career and have had some of the most memorable and special moments (the lob) of my career competing for my country. With this possibly being my last chance to compete in Scotland as a professional I really wanted to be there with team and found this decision emotionally quite challenging. I had spoken to our captain, Leon, about possibly coming to just play doubles but having been recommended to take a couple of weeks off hitting to continue my reconditioning I didn't want to just show up not ready to perform to a high enough standard and ultimately let my teammates/country down. If I don't get the chance to compete in Scotland again I just want to say thank you so much to all the fans who have come along to watch and support the team over the years. You have created some incredible atmospheres for me and the team to play in and I will always remember that. Having been born in Glasgow and growing up in Scotland I would never have imagined I would see such passionate fans packing out stadiums for tennis matches. Playing with my Big Bro in those stadiums has been very very special. Thank you so much again.. I'll miss you ???? ?? by yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes?? #tennis

A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on



'I have genuinely loved competing in this Davis cup format over the course of my career and have had some of the most memorable and special moments (the lob) of my career competing for my country,' Murray wrote, referencing the lob winner he landed over David Goffin's head on match point to seal Great Britain's Davis Cup win in 2015.

'With this possibly being my last chance to compete in Scotland as a professional I really wanted to be there with team and found this decision emotionally quite challenging.'

The new Davis Cup format, which was recently approved by the ITF, has not completely done away with home-and-away ties, but from 2019 those ties will play a much less significant role and will only be played once a year, in February, with the meat of the competition an 18-nation competition held in a neutral venue over the space of a week in November.

The changes to the format have rendered Great Britain's relegation play-off against Uzbekistan essentially meaningless, as Great Britain - currently the fifth-ranked nation in the world - will be competing alongside the rest of the world's top nations in the new format next year.

The new format also makes it much less likely that Murray, a proud Scot, will have future opportunities to play at home.

Murray posted a long message on Instagram alongside a photo of himself and brother Jamie celebrating a crucial doubles win over Australia during Great Britain's successful title campaign in 2015.

'I didn't want to just show up not ready to perform to a high enough standard and ultimately let my teammates/country down,' Murray wrote.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has played only a handful of matches across seven tournaments since returning from a year-long absence due to a hip injury which ultimately required surgery in January, and his comeback so far has been marked by a high degree of caution. He skipped Wimbledon despite playing two warm-up events on the grass, saying that he did not feel like his body was ready for best-of-five set matches. The US Open, where he beat James Duckworth in four sets before losing to Fernando Verdasco in four sets, was the first time he has risked playing best-of-five set matches.

Murray said he considered just playing doubles and discussed the possibility with captain Leon Smith, but ultimately decided to focus on his ongoing physical rehabilitation.

British no. 1 Kyle Edmund has also pulled out of the tie as he tries to recover from bouts of tonsilitis, but will still play for 'Team Europe' in the Laver Cup exhibition event played in Chicago the following weekend.

With no Murray and Edmund, the team will consist of world no. 67 Cameron Norrie, Jay Clarke, doubles specialists Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot, and Dan Evans, who will be playing for the first time since he was banned for a year after testing positive for cocaine.

'I know Andy was really wanting to play some part of this tie, and that's genuine,' British captain Leon Smith said. 'He's assessed where he's at and the feeling is in the short term he focuses on the rehab work, as much as there's temptation to be involved.

'After what he has gone through it's absolutely clear that he has to listen to the team around him. He's finally making that progress and the last thing I'd want to happen is if he feels the pull of, the sentiment of playing and it sets him back a little bit. The number one focus for him will be that by the time he gets to Australia next year to be in a really, really good place and have a great 2019 injury-free.'



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Andy Murray describes 'emotionally challenging' decision to skip home Davis Cup tie

Former British world no. 1 Andy Murray has pulled out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan in Glasgow, which could be his last chance to play tennis in Scotland, to continue rehabilitation

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