Andy Murray backed to play in new-look Davis Cup as he ‘loves’ the team event

Andy Murray looking back

Andy Murray’s Davis Cup career is far from over despite the three-time Grand Slam winner missing out on this week’s tie against Uzbekistan.

The 31-year-old only returned to action in June following nearly a full year on the sidelines due to a hip problem.

After skipping Wimbledon to enhance his recovery, he made his Grand Slam return at the US Open, but lost in the second round against Fernando Verdasco.

He then turned down the chance to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup tie this weekend, instead opting to remain in American to continue his rehabilitation.

There were fears that Murray may well have played his last Davis Cup match as the tournament will undergo a major revamp next year, but captain Leon Smith says he will be back.

“I don’t see why not, I mean, he absolutely loves it,” he told Daily Mail. “He [Andy] loves playing in the team event. He has played some of his best tennis in the Davis Cup. And I’m sure he’ll say some of his best memories have come in the Davis Cup.”

He added: “The most important thing for him is carrying on with the rehab. Because this has been a long chunk.

“The pull of playing here was so, so strong. But he’s done really well in New York – now he has to go back and do his work again, to make sure it’s safe and good for the next phase of tournaments.’

“I know he considered this very strongly. But you don’t just turn up for one day of doubles. You have to travel back from what he’s been doing in the States.

“It eats into pretty much a whole week of the work he’s been doing for seven, eight hours a day.

“You add that up and it’s quite a big chunk of rehab he would miss. So it was the right decision. But we will miss him being here.

“I mean, we always miss Andy when he isn’t here. You will totally recognise that this is a really difficult decision for him not to take part, at least in some way.”

It remains to be seen how the top players will treat the overhauled tournament that is set to be staged in Spain in November 2019.

Smith continued: “Now that the format’s been changed, I’ve talked to all the guys about it. Embrace it and give it a good go.

“The ITF will look at it and, if it doesn’t work, they’ll have to get their heads together and see what does work. It will all come down to how amazing the atmosphere is, the occasion, which players turn up to play. Let’s hope it’s a success. I think Andy, if he’s fit, healthy and it works for him, he’ll be part of it.”

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