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Clay court has Andy Murray in two minds over Davis Cup tie

By Paul Newman

Published 23/04/2016

Andy Murray of Britain plays a return to France's Benoit Paire during their match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco
Andy Murray of Britain plays a return to France's Benoit Paire during their match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco

Andy Murray says that Serbia's choice of clay as the playing surface for their Davis Cup quarter-final at home to defending champions Great Britain in July could force him to reconsider his intention to play in it.

Murray, talking after the Wimbledon launch of his Andy Murray Live charity event, still hopes to play in Belgrade but acknowledged he may change his mind.

The tie, which will be staged in the Tasmajdan Stadium, starts on July 15, just five days after the Wimbledon final.

With the north American hard-court season and the Olympic Games in Rio following hard on the heels of the Davis Cup quarter-final weekend, it means that those playing in the tie would have to switch from grass to clay and then to hard courts in the space of just a few days.

Murray has always taken time to adjust to clay. Although he eventually reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this month in his first clay-court outing of the season he was stretched to the limit by lower-ranked opponents in his first two matches.

The Scot has also suffered physical difficulties when playing on it. He eventually had back surgery because of problems exacerbated by playing on clay.

"I need to see how my body is first," Murray said when asked about the decision to play the tie on clay.

"From when I leave now to go away next week to Madrid it's pretty much full on through until the Olympics, with a number of surface changes in a very short space of time.

"You never know how the body is going to react or how it's going to pull up after those changes. I'll just have to see how my body is. Hopefully I'll be fine, but it's going to be a tough few months and I think all the players are aware of that right now. The more surface changes that are put in there makes it that bit more tricky."

Murray was surprised by Serbia's decision. "I thought that maybe they would put it on a hard court," he said. "Obviously clay for us would be our weakest surface."

Serbia's world number one Djokovic, whose major goals this summer are likely to be the French Open and the Olympics, was non-committal when asked - before the announcement of the playing surface - whether he would play in the quarter-final.

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