World no. 3 Andy Murray had some intriguing comments regarding his stance on the Davis Cup. The two-time Grand Slam champion contemplated about the possibility of making the prestigious tournament a mandatory part of the tour and mentioned that it would ensure more consistency in the earlier stages of the competition.
“We’re told which events to play throughout the whole year. They should make Davis Cup a mandatory event so it isn’t up for discussion,” Murray told the BBC. “It isn’t about prioritizing Davis Cup. We, as tennis players, are told which tournaments to play. We don’t have much flexibility in our schedule at all, and that’s why I don’t understand why they don’t make Davis Cup a mandatory event. We are meant to play 18 mandatory events during the year, which is about 27, 28 weeks’ worth of tournaments, and we don’t get to decide which ones we do and don’t play.”
Coming off his historic Wimbledon title, Murray failed to sustain that momentum on the hard court surfaces and has provided some disappointing results over the past couple of weeks. He lost to Ernests Gulbis in the third round of the Rogers Cup, a tournament he has won on multiple occasions, and followed that up with a straight set loss to Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati. His US Open Series culminated with a quarterfinal ejection from the US Open – the tournament he won the previous year.
Murray arrived in Croatia and began his preparation for the the vital playoff between Great Britain and Croatia, where he is an essential part of the British team. The Wimbledon champion defeated teenager Borna Croic 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 in the opening rubber. While the win was a comfortable one,
The British no. 1 considers the court surface changes as the biggest deterrent to the tournament. The majority of the Davis Cup matches played this weekend are being contested on clay courts, while the ATP tour is currently in it’s hard court season.
“The hard part about it is the surface changes,” he said. “Davis Cup finishes on a Sunday and there are tournaments that start on the ATP tour on Tuesday. That’s unhealthy—it’s not good for the body to travel from Croatia on a Sunday night, hit once on a hard court, and then play a match on it going flat out.”
With many of the top players in the world competing this weekend at the Davis Cup, both in the playoffs and the World Group, Murray believes the Cup has all the elements to become an essential part of the professional tour.
“[The International Tennis Federation] got a good turn out this week. Rafa’s playing, Novak’s playing, so the competition still does very well. They draw big crowds—there just needs to be a few tweaks.”