Davis Cup just pa­pers over cracks in our game Talk­ing to Bri­tish ten­nis chief is waste of my time

Daily Mail - - Davis Cup – The Aftermath - By MIKE DICKSON Ten­nis Cor­re­spon­dent

ANDY MUR­RAY yes­ter­day led Great Bri­tain’s win­ning Davis Cup team once again — in launch­ing a sting­ing cri­tique of the Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion.

The world No 2 said he felt it was al­most fu­tile to even dis­cuss poli­cies with chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Downey, and joined col­leagues in tar­get­ing the Na­tional Ten­nis Cen­tre in Roe­hamp­ton, widely con­sid­ered a £40mil­lion white ele­phant.

Mur­ray (be­low) also ex­pressed fears about the lack of top- class ju­nior ta­lent and ques­tioned whether the right mea­sures were be­ing taken to nur­ture the grass roots.

Of his brief en­coun­ters with Downey, he said: ‘Some­times I feel a bit like you waste time be­cause noth­ing gets done, so I also don’t want to waste my time talk­ing about stuff.

‘I’d rather con­cen­trate on my own stuff and when I’ve fin­ished play­ing I’ll have a lot more time to try to help or give back to the game.’

He spoke of his shock at find­ing the in­door courts at the NTC empty on a rare visit in Oc­to­ber, and his views were broadly echoed by his brother

Jamie and team-mate Kyle Ed­mund. He said: ‘There is no­body to train with and no­body to prac­tise with, which is frus­trat­ing be­cause you want the best pos­si­ble prepa­ra­tion for the big events and we don’t have that.’ Grass roots ex­pan­sion plans were not spared ei­ther by Mur­ray, who cares pas­sion­ately about Bri­tish ten­nis. He said: ‘There are a few peo­ple who I am close to and re­spect their opin­ions on it. They be­lieve a lot more could be done and should be done to cap­i­talise on all of this suc­cess in Bri­tish ten­nis over the last five or six years.’ Cap­tain Leon Smith lamented that in the last eight years £25m had been in­vested in ju­nior ten­nis pro­grammes with no tan­gi­ble re­turn.

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