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Smith attacks 'nightmare' Davis Cup schedule

By Eleanor Crooks

Published 14/07/2016

Missing match: Andy Murray
Missing match: Andy Murray

Leon Smith bemoaned the "nightmare" Davis Cup schedule that means Andy Murray will miss Great Britain's quarter-final against Serbia in Belgrade this weekend.

The world number two was named in the team last week but admitted after winning Wimbledon on Sunday it was unlikely he would contest the tie.

Smith is hoping Murray will come out to Serbia to support his team-mates for the clash at the Tasmajdan Stadium, which starts on Friday.

The tie presented the tantalising prospect of a clash between the world's top two players, but both Murray and Novak Djokovic are absent and the highest-ranked player on show will be world number 67 Kyle Edmund.

GB captain Smith said of Murray: "He's obviously had an amazing moment again in his life and has enjoyed that moment. He's got to be careful with his own commitments.

"But what we've got is a great bunch of guys who totally respect Andy's decision. Hopefully he'll come out and support the team, which would be great because his commitment's been amazing.

"I think he's earned the right [to miss the tie]. We're looking forward to it and, if we manage to do it, it can be even sweeter."

Dan Evans, who reached the third round of Wimbledon and is at a career-high ranking of 73, will also miss the contest and has been replaced by James Ward.

Evans had been struggling with a shoulder problem, and Smith said: "He tried to start playing and it was clear that something was up.

"Then he had a couple of personal things at home and that made me decide he wasn't really in the right head space to travel with the team."

Serbian No.2 Viktor Troicki has also pulled out of the tie.

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