Murray makes no excuses for his Davis Cup defeat
ANDY MURRAY was beaten but unbowed last night after losing his firstever Davis Cup singles rubber on home soil over five hours to Juan Martin del Potro.
The 29-year-old World No 2 said he was “proud” of the performance he put up during his 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 4-6 defeat by the resurgent Argentine – and hadn’t considered withdrawing from the tie to join the mourners at his paternal grandfather Gordon’s funeral in Kilsyth yesterday.
At five hours seven minutes, the re-run of the recent Olympic final between the two players was the longest match of both men’s careers to date. Coupled with Guido Pella’s 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Kyle Edmund, it left Great Britain trailing Argentina 2-0 after the opening day’s singles as they endeavour to retain the title which they claimed for the first time in 79 years in Ghent in November.
It is their first such deficit since a remarkable recovery in a World Group play-off against Russia in Coventy in April 2013 but they didn’t have a player of the calibre of Del Potro in their ranks.
Typically Murray refused to use his exertions of the summer or the strain of his recent family bereavement as excuses for his defeat, but said he would decide this morning whether he will partner his brother Jamie in today’s doubles rubber against Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer. While no-one in the Great Britain camp was admitting defeat, Argentina now have the luxury of keeping Del Potro fresh for the return singles, against either Edmund or Dan Evans. It may only have been a precaution, but Evans was hitting on the Emirates Arena court last night.
“It has been hard,” Andy admitted, about the strain of missing his grandfather’s funeral. “But I always planned on playing. I did great today – I’m very proud of how I played. I thought I did fantastic. I fought for every point, tried as best as I could. That’s all you can do.
“I’ve never played a match that long, so we’ll have to see how I am when I wake up,” he added. “I will probably make a decision then.I’ve played matches close to that length but none after an extremely long stretch of playing. So I don’t know how I’ll feel when I wake up.
“Doubles is always a tough match. And if I recover okay, I’ll be the favourite to win the match on the Sunday. There’s no reason why Kyle or Dan couldn’t push Juan hard. But we’ll have to wait and see how the weekend plays out.”
While Smith said it was one of his most disappointing days as captain, he was insistent his team wouldn’t give up the fight. He too was unsure whether both Murray brothers would be sighted