By Chris Oddo / Monday, September 16, 2013
After helping guide Great Britain back to the Davis Cup World Group for the first time since 2008, Andy Murray is planning to make himself available to his squad for next year's World Group action as well. He's known for busting curses, so why shouldn't 2014 be the year that Great Britain wins its first World Group Davis Cup tie since 1986?
Curse-smasher Andy Murray will look to alleviate Great Britain of its long run of Davis Cup ineptitude in World Group play in 2014.
Photo Source: AP
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Murray, who ended the fabled curse of Fred Perry, a 77-year-long black cloud that was finally lifted when the world No. 3 defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the 2013 Wimbledon final, will now set his sights upon a more modest, but still lofty goal: ending Great Britain's run of 27 years of World Group ineptitude.
Murray had been out of Great Britain's Davis Cup loop for two years until showing up in a big way over the weekend in Umag, Croatia (he won three ties and improved his singles record in Davis Cup play to 16-1). But as it turns out, Murray's lack of participation was part of a plan to get Great Britain's young players some much needed big match experience. “If I'm healthy, I'll play,” Murray told the BBC. “A couple of years ago that wasn't the case. When I sat down with Leon [Smith] I wanted the younger guys to step up and experience it.”
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Murray didn't feel like the squad was ready to make noise in the World Group (and he was quite busy managing his own busy schedule as he became a multiple Grand Slam winner in the last year), but now he feels that Great Britain is in position to compete on the level with some of the perennial Davis Cup powers. “There was no use of us being in the World Group because we weren't ready for it, but now I feel we're ready to do well,” he said. “We have a top doubles team, Dan [Evans] and James [Ward] will continue to improve, get their rankings up a little bit between now and the end of the year, and we've got the makings of a very solid team. If I'm fit and healthy I'll be there to play.”
How far can Britain go next year? Murray is sanguine, yet realistic about that. “No, you could definitely go far,” he said. “It's just an incredibly difficult competition to win because some of the teams have so much depth... we could easily draw Spain away in the first tie, and that's an ugly matchup. But it's possible to go deep into the competition.”
With World Group draws due out Wednesday, Murray wants one thing more than anything else. “I would just like a home tie,” he said. “A home tie would be nice. Get back in the World Group, get a big arena against one of the big teams would be good.”