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MURRAY HITS BACK IN DAVIS CUP ROW

By NBF NEWS
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British number one Andy Murray has hit back at John Lloyd after the former Davis Cup captain criticised the Scot's self-imposed absences from the team.

Lloyd resigned as captain after seeing Great Britain, without Murray, slump to defeat to Lithuania.

Last week Lloyd said Murray should not choose when he plays for Britain, but Murray told BBC Radio 5 live: 'I would rather he was a little more supportive.

'I have to do what is best for my career,' added the 22-year-old.

Murray has played nine out of 12 Davis Cup ties since making his debut against Switzerland in 2005, but has begun to reassess the event's place in his schedule.

He withdrew from a tie against Argentina in 2008 to protect a wrist injury, as well as missing the defeat by Ukraine last year.

Murray played against Poland in September and won both his singles rubbers. But it was not enough as Britain fell to a 3-2 defeat which relegated them to the competition's third tier, leading the Scot to hint that it might be time to give other players an opportunity.

'It's not a huge amount of progress if I win my matches and then we come into this level again and go straight back down,' said Murray at the time.

Murray subsequently pulled out of the tie against Lithuania, saying he had 'a lot of ranking points to defend'.

The humiliating 3-2 Euro-Africa Zone Group Two loss in Vilnius leaves Britain facing a July play-off against Turkey to avoid demotion to the Davis Cup's lowest tier.

The Lawn Tennis Association is now looking for Lloyd's successor to revive the team's fortunes, with chief executive Roger Draper hinting that a young coach, as opposed to a big name, is the preferred option.