Committed Andy Murray ready to put Great Britain first for Davies Cup
Great Britain captain Leon Smith hailed the commitment of Andy Murray as his top player considers missing the Barclays ATP Tour finals to help prepare for the Davis Cup decider.
Murray inspired Britain to their first final for 37 years with two straight-sets wins against Australia and an epic doubles triumph with brother Jamie in Glasgow.
The World No.3 revealed after the 3-2 triumph that he had been struggling with a back injury throughout the weekend but few would have guessed given the way he dealt with Bernard Tomic on Sunday.
Murray's triumph completed an incredible journey for Smith and the numerous players who have taken Britain from the brink of the low-point of the competition to the showpiece occasion, against Belgium away from home on November 27-29.
Smith took over in 2010 when Britain, fresh from a first-round defeat by Lithuania, faced a play-off against Turkey to avoid demotion to Europe Group III alongside the likes of Albania, Andorra and Armenia.
They won 5-0 and advanced from Europe/Africa Group II the following year before getting back into the World Group at the end of 2013 when Murray returned to help secure play-off victory over Croatia.
He has been there ever since and, along with his brother, has secured Britain's last seven points over games against the United States, France and Australia to give them a chance of winning the competition for the first time since 1936.
Smith said: "It's been absolutely incredible when I think back. This team, and I mean the physios and coaches and doctors and everybody, started against Turkey at Eastbourne.
"That allowed us to win some matches, which was good, and it allowed some of the other players to get some momentum going, get some confidence and get used to the Davis Cup environment.
"That started to pay dividends as we had tougher matches.
"But then when Andy is here, it's just made such a huge difference to us. His commitment to the team has been absolutely incredible.
"He will play it down because he's modest but everyone just watches in nothing but the most amount of respect you could ever have for someone.
"He has been quite open about how his back felt and it's incredible he can go out and do all three days. We owe Andy a lot to what he brings to the team."
Murray's commitment appears set to stretch to sitting out the showcase end to his personal season, which takes place in London before the Davis Cup final.
The 28-year-old could instead spend the week practicing on clay if Belgium select Gent as the final venue.
Murray said: "The O2 would be a question mark for me if we were playing on the clay. I would go and train and prepare on the clay to get ready for the final.
"For me to play - if I was to reach the final - five in a row and then take a couple of days off, it would mean only playing for two days on the clay before the Davis Cup final starts.
"I need more time on the clay to let my back get used to it."