Mur­ray makes no ex­cuses for his Davis Cup de­feat

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - STE­WART FISHER

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

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