Tennis

Greg Rusedski: Davis Cup triumph would be huge for Andy Murray

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Leading Britain to Davis Cup glory would rank as high as winning Wimbledon in Andy Murray's list of achievements, according to former British number one Greg Rusedski.

Murray will spearhead Britain's challenge in Friday's semi-final against Australia as the team look to reach the final for the first time since 1978.

Beaten in the US Open fourth round last week, Murray is likely to play all three matches this weekend, including two singles matches either side of the middle doubles rubber.

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Victory in Glasgow would see Leon Smith's team play either Belgium or Argentina to become the first British side to win the Davis Cup since 1936.

It would mark a supreme effort from Murray, who was not born the last time Britain reached a Davis Cup semi-final and is eager to add the historic title to his Olympic gold medal and two grand slam titles.

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"Look at his accomplishments," Rusedski told Press Association Sport.

"Winning the US Open, being the first man in 77 years to win Wimbledon and now leading the team to the semis of the Davis Cup. It's tremendous.

"It's so difficult to do it, if Andy goes on to the final or even wins the Davis Cup, that would be right up there as one of the highlights of his career.

"It would be up there with his Wimbledon triumph for me.

"All players love to win as part of a team because tennis is mainly an individual sport.

"And if you look out our history, how many decades has it been since we won the title?

"It would be another unbelievable triumph for Andy and just as good as winning Wimbledon in my opinion."

Five years ago Britain were on the brink of dropping into Europe/Africa Zone Group III - the fourth tier of the competition.

Murray sat out some of those early ties but the world number three's recent contribution has been immense, particularly given his increasingly lengthy involvement at grand slams.

One week after losing to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in July, Murray won three matches in as many days against France, including a gruelling final victory over Gilles Simon, which saw the exhausted Scot come from a set behind.

"It would be nice if people were far more appreciative of the things he has already achieved in this sport," said Murray's former coach Mark Petchey, now working as an analyst for Sky Sports.

"He's right up there with some of the best players ever in terms of consistency, he's won multiple grand slams, he's an Olympic gold medallist, he's got a chance to carry Britain on his shoulders to win the Davis Cup.

"His match against Gilles Simon of France after Wimbledon was one of the great British performances of the year. He's not celebrated as much as he should be."

Murray is likely to be up against the talented 19-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening round of singles on Friday with big-serving duo Sam Groth or Bernard Tomic lying in wait for the second singles rubber.

Smith must decide whether to partner Murray with his brother Jamie in the doubles, or rest his star player and throw in doubles specialist Dominic Inglot, while either Kyle Edmund or James Ward could feature in the second singles spot.

"We are slight favourites but the Aussies are going to be a rough team to beat," said Rusedski, a pundit for British Eurosport.

"It's extremely demanding on Murray because all the pressure is on him to win those three matches, and at least two guaranteed.

"It's easier said than done. And in a team format, there's an immense pressure."

Rusedski was strongly linked with the team captaincy before Smith was appointed in 2010 and the 42-year-old says he would be interested in the job in the future.

"I would be interested," Rusedski said. "I'm passionate about Davis Cup, I played for 13 years, which is the most years for any British player.

"In the future one day I would maybe be interested. But right now there's no need to change the captain. He's doing a fantastic job."

British Eurosport HD is the LIVE host broadcaster of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semi-final between Great Britain and Australia (18-20 Sept)

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Topics:
Andy Murray
Tennis

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