Davis Cup: Team spirit a welcome distraction for Andy Murray

 

Umag, Croatia

Andy Murray has put his US Open disappointment behind him and is relishing the chance of playing in his first Davis Cup tie for two years here this weekend. Murray is ready to feature on all three days of Britain's play-off against Croatia for a place in the elite 16-nation World Group next year.

"I've trained well this week," he said yesterday. "I've practised very well. I played good tennis in practice. I've hit the ball cleanly the whole week."

In the Wimbledon champion's most recent appearance he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the US Open quarter-finals. "I wasn't that happy with the way that particular match went," Murray admitted. "Obviously I would like to have done a lot better. But if we're going to be getting down on reaching the quarter-finals of Slams for the rest of my career, well, that's fine.

"It's quite easy just because Wimbledon was such a high for everyone [to think] that losing in the quarter-finals seems like a massive low, but when things are good and going really well, they're sometimes better than they seem, and when things are going badly, often they're not quite as bad as people think. I'm not playing that badly."

Murray said he had given himself less time to prepare for the US Open following Wimbledon. He also thought his efforts at the All England Club, particularly the remarkable 12-minute game at the end of the final against Novak Djokovic, had taken their toll.

"That was pretty stressful," Murray said. "There was a lot of pressure. I don't know if there have been many players who have ever played under that much pressure. It was a lot to take in."

Murray said he had always enjoyed the Davis Cup. "You feel pressure playing for a team because you want to win but you also know you have a group of guys that, whether you win or lose, they're going to be behind you and supporting you," he said.

The world No 3 will play today's opening rubber against Borna Coric, who will be making his Davis Cup debut at 16. Coric won the US Open junior title last Sunday – Murray won the same event nine years ago – and has been preferred to world No 205 Antonio Veic, who could yet replace him in the reverse singles.

Coric, who trains in London with his coach Ryan Jones, may have been chosen on the basis that Murray looks sure to win both his singles rubbers and that today is a chance to give him his first taste of Davis Cup competition.

However, Murray warned, without the hint of a smile on his face: "It's not going to be an enjoyable experience for him tomorrow."

Britain last played Croatia in 2007, when a victory at Wimbledon earned their last spell in the World Group, which lasted just a year. Croatia chose to stage this tie on clay, though their ploy may have backfired in the absence of Marin Cilic, who would have been a key performer on the surface.

This is the first time Croatia have staged a tie in this resort here on the Istrian coast, which hosts an ATP event in July. Umag is packed with tourists in summer but is very quiet now, with many hotels preparing to shut for the winter.

In today's second singles match, Ivan Dodig, the world No 35, plays Dan Evans, whose efforts in reaching the US Open third round earned him a spot ahead of James Ward, who has been replaced in the team by Jonny Marray.

Murray is scheduled to play with Colin Fleming in tomorrow's doubles, but Marray, who is Fleming's regular partner, gives Leon Smith, the British captain, another option.

Davis Cup: Details

Start times:

Friday 10am BST

Saturday 1pm BST

Sunday 10am BST

Order of play: (date for each match dependent on playing time)

R1 Borna Coric v Andy Murray

R2 Ivan Dodig v Dan Evans

R3 Ivan Dodig/Mate Pavic v Colin Fleming/Andy Murray

R4 Ivan Dodig v Andy Murray

R5 Borna Coric v Dan Evans

Venue Stadion Stella Maris, Umag, Croatia

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss