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Murray simply priceless for GB, says Smith

 

By Eleanor Crooks

"Priceless" Andy Murray elevates Great Britain's Davis Cup team to another level, according to captain Leon Smith.

The former World No.1 is back in the side for the first time since 2016 for the revamped finals week at Madrid's Caja Magica.

Smith insists he has not yet decided which of his three singles players - Murray, Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund - will fill the two spots available, but Murray will surely be the first name on the team sheet.

The 32-year-old won an ATP Tour title in Antwerp last month only nine months after career-saving hip surgery and, despite being ranked lower than Evans or Edmund, is clearly Britain's trump card.

Kazakhstan captain Dias Doskarayev, whose team play Britain on Thursday, said there was an "extra buzz" in his country because of Murray's presence.

Smith said: "You're bringing in someone that's a Grand Slam winner, Davis Cup winner, Olympic gold winner, former No.1.

"And he's still a very, very good tennis player. He's just won a tour title again. If you look at his performances even leading up to Antwerp, he's pushing the top-20 guys again. And then you realise what he's gone through, so it just gives everyone a huge lift.

"And then you have someone like that in your team room. When you start talking about things, when you start talking about his matches and the experience he talks about - someone giving over that experience to other players is priceless."

Britain have to wait until tomorrow to play their first match against the Netherlands.

Under the new format, 18 teams will initially compete across six groups, with the group winners and the two best runners-up progressing to the quarter-finals.

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