Great Britain ‘hurting’ after Davis Cup exit, but captain Leon Smith ‘excited’ about future
It was a painful exit from the Davis Cup for Great Britain as they went down to Spain, but captain Leon Smith is predicting a “really positive 2020” for his team.
Team GB lost their semi-final 2-1 against Spain at Caja Magica on Saturday with the hosts winning the decisive doubles rubber through world No 1 Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez.
Kyle Edmund initially gave Great Britain the lead when he beat Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in the opening rubber, but Nadal drew his team level as he saw off Dan Evans 6-4, 6-0.
It came down to the doubles and Nadal and Lopez prevailled 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8) against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.
— Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals (@DavisCupFinals) November 24, 2019
It was a tough loss for Murray and Skupski as there were no breaks of serve and they came close to taking it to a decider as they had a set point in the 13th game of the second set and three more set points in the tie-breaker.
“The emotion is still raw,” Smith told BBC Sport. “You’re within a couple of points of going into a deciding third set and then it’s game on. There was nothing in it. I’m proud of all of them.
“We’re hurting, but we’ve seen an amazing tie here against Spain, who are arguably the strongest team in the competition, especially with Rafa in it.
“We’ve pushed them within a couple of points to a deciding set to see who goes into the final.
“To reach semi-finals is a brilliant achievement, we have come through tough matches and tough moments.
“Everyone has stepped up and we’ll look back proudly on this.”
It was nevertheless a great week for Team GB as Andy Murray made a return to the squad after his lengthy injury absence while Edmund won all three of his singles rubbers.
Jamie Murray and Skupski have been an exciting doubles pairing while Cameron Norrie and Joe Salisbury were not part of the set up in Madrid, but are waiting in the wings.
“I look forward to a really positive 2020,” Smith said.
He added: “Everyone’s got their different journey to go on, but I think we should be excited by what we have in British tennis.
“We’ve got so many different things going. I think it’s great, it’s positive.
“Hopefully everyone can just keep on that path and we come back here next year with an even stronger team than the strong team we have already got.”
Novak Djokovic news: Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives his verdict on the deported Serbian
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has jumped to the defence of Novak Djokovic.
Ashleigh Barty news: Former top ten player tells us why she is Australian Open favourite
World number one Ashleigh Barty overcame a…
Australian Open news: ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ banners removed from Melbourne Park
Fans are still concerned about the Chinese star’s safety and wellbeing.
Novak Djokovic news: World No 1 WILL be allowed to play at the French Open
After the Australian Open saga, the Serb has been given good news.
Ashleigh Barty news: World No 1 moves smoothly into quarters in Melbourne
Barty is one step closer to achieving her dream of winning her home Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal news: The Spaniard reaches Aus Open quarters but won’t play Alexander Zverev
Nadal’s quarter-final opponent will be Denis Shapovalov who beat No 3 Zverev.
Nick Kyrgios news: Aussie doubles duo reach the quarter-finals
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis put last round’s controversy behind them and were victorious in front of a packed-out home crowd.
Alexander Zverev news: Boris Becker’s verdict after shock Australian Open exit
Alexander Zverev’s dreams of a first Grand…
Universal Tennis makes global impact as official rating of Tennis Australia
It is considered to be the gold…
Novak Djokovic news: Serb makes first public appearance since being deported
Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australian has been…