Murray struggles as injury returns

British No 1's Davis Cup win is overshadowed by anxiety after wrist problem flares up

Short of the team bus crashing into Liverpool's Albert Dock on the way to the Echo Arena it would have been hard to imagine much more going wrong for John Lloyd, the British captain, in yesterday's Davis Cup tie against Poland.

Andy Murray's 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Michal Przysiezny in the opening singles was overshadowed by a recurrence of his recent wrist problem, with the world No 3 even casting doubt over whether he would play again this year, while Dan Evans was beaten 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 by Jerzy Janowicz to leave the tie finely balanced at 1-1. Lloyd now has to decide whether to risk Murray or to replace him with Colin Fleming in today's doubles alongside Ross Hutchins against the world's 11th-ranked doubles pair of Marcin Matkowski and Mariusz Fyrstenberg.

If Britain were to lose the doubles, they would have to win both of tomorrow's singles matches to avoid relegation to Europe Africa Zone Group Two, effectively the Davis Cup's third division. Murray, perhaps with a wrist further damaged by playing in the doubles, would be due to face the hard- hitting Janowicz, while Evans would be up against Przysiezny, who yesterday played like the world No 190 he was two years ago before he suffered the injuries that have contributed to the drift to his current ranking of No 678.

Asked last night what he would do if Murray felt he could play only one more rubber this weekend, Lloyd said he would probably save him for tomorrow's singles.

Murray, who had an ice bag on his inflamed wrist after the match, has had problems with it since before the US Open and is to see the specialist who treated the injury to his right wrist which kept him out of the game for three months two summers ago.

Despite regular treatment since he last played, 11 days ago at the US Open, the wrist was hurting again yesterday, forcing the Scot to hit fewer double-handed backhands and more one-handed slices. "It's when I try to generate pace and put topspin on the ball that I found myself trying to hold back quite a lot," he said. "Any time I play on it is making it worse."

Following the reaction to his withdrawal from two of Britain's last three Davis Cup ties – away to Argentina last year (when he was concerned he might damage his suspect knee by switching from hard courts to clay) and at home to Ukraine this March (when he had a virus) – Murray was anxious not to pull out this weekend.

Murray, who is taking painkillers, said: "I thought about it, but last time something like that happened I spent the next three months answering questions on whether you were dedicated enough to play for your country, does the Davis Cup mean anything to you, is it important enough, do you feel like you let your country down?

"It's pathetic. I play hard when I play for my country. I've always enjoyed playing for it and you can ask John [Lloyd] and all the guys around the team. I came up on Sunday with the rest of the guys and I practised hard. I love being around a team atmosphere and every time I feel I am fit enough to play Davis Cup I will play. And if I am not feeling well or hurt, I can't, regardless of whether it's the Davis Cup or a small ATP tournament."

As for playing in today's doubles, Murray said: "If I feel fine I'll play. If I don't then I might not pla,y because I can't make it worse every single day and then by Sunday be struggling. I also sacrificed a lot to play in the tie and I don't want to end up hurting myself so badly that I can't play for a few months."

Murray's next scheduled tournament is the Japan Open in a fortnight, but he said he did not know when he would be fit to play again, casting doubt even on whether he would compete in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in November.

"I will have to see," he said. "If it takes four months to get there, then it takes four months. If it takes a week, I will take a week off. I don't know how long it's going to take to get better. We'll have to wait and see how the treatment goes."

He added: "Any time you have an injury it's not going to get better the more you play on it. You need to try to take some time off and let it recover because four or five days isn't enough."

The 5,000-capacity Echo Arena was only about three-quarters full, but with two rows of cheer-leading, kilted Scots there was a boisterous atmosphere. Murray, whose wrist problems were clear, played well within himself, though Przysiezny showed a good touch at the net. Evans played well in patches, but had his serve broken six times. On this showing the 19-year-old from Birmingham would be hard pressed to beat Przysiezny tomorrow.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'