Andy Murray appeared to place a question-mark against his own future Davis Cup participation after Britain’s relegation from the elite World Group.
US Open finalist Murray won both his singles matches but was powerless to prevent a 3-2 defeat against Austria at Wimbledon today, which saw Britain demoted to amongst the also-rans in the Europe/Africa zone.
Murray did all he could to maintain Britain’s place in world tennis’s top 16 nations with a 6-4 5-7 6-3 6-1 victory over Jurgen Melzer.
But then British No.2 Alex Bogdanovic once more lost a Davis Cup match, beaten 2-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 by Alexander Peya as Austria won the tie in the final rubber.
It left Murray questioning the resolve of his team-mates.
“If I make a sacrifice I think every single person in the team should be willing to make those sacrifices and say they will give it all they’ve got,” said the world No.4.
“I want them to say they are physically able to play even if they have to play three days of five-set matches. Then I know everyone on the team wants to play as badly as I do.”
His comments are bound to lead to speculation as to whether Murray is willing to give up his time to play the minnows of world tennis if he feels he is not going to get sufficient support from his compatriots.
The Scot said the rest of the team needed to demonstrate greater intensity.
“In both my matches I showed a lot of emotion and got the crowd involved. You have to do that in Davis Cup, especially when you have home ties.
“The guys in the other matches didn’t get the crowd involved as much as I would have liked.”
Murray’s criticisms might have carried greater force had he stayed in the stands to cheer on Bogdanovic, rather than watching the match on television to relay messages on technical issues to coach Paul Annacone.
Bogdanovic’s defeat meant he had lost his sixth straight ‘live’ Davis Cup tie to go with seven consecutive first round defeats at Wimbledon.
Murray didn’t play in the doubles, which Britain lost on Saturday to go 2-1 down in the tie, with brother Jamie partnered by Ross Hutchins.
At the time, British team captain John Lloyd defended his selection policy by saying Murray had a slight knee injury that needed rest ahead of the final-day singles.
However, after today’s defeat, Lloyd – himself a former grand slam singles finalist – admitted: “If Andy had played the doubles it would have been closer and I’d like another go at it.
“But it was my decision and you’re wrong sometimes and other times you are right.”
Source: (Tennis Australia)