Andy Murray backed by LTA over Scottish independence

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The Lawn Tennis Association have no issues with Andy Murray’s loyalty to Great Britain, according to the organisation’s chief executive Michael Downey.

Murray tweeted his support for Scottish independence last Wednesday, the night before a majority of 55% of voters voted against independence in the Scottish referendum, which produced a backlash of criticism over his comment.

The world number 11 wrote: “Huge day for Scotland today! no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. excited to see the outcome. lets do this!”

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The 27-year-old has since moved to defend his opinion, though they could potentially throw into doubt his position within the Great Britain Davis Cup team, who have the opportunity to win the competition next year, as they will be playing in the World Group.

Unquestionably loyal

But Downey is confident that it will not jeopardise his position, as the British number one has performed for his country many times since making his Davis Cup debut against Israel in 2005, including winning an Olympic gold medal in London in 2012.

“Andy Murray has been unquestionably loyal to British tennis,” Downey is quoted by BBC Sport as saying.

"His on-court brilliance demonstrates time and again that he'll push himself to the limit to win for Britain, whether that's for British Olympic gold or in the GB Davis Cup team."

Murray refrained from publicly stating his opinion on Scottish independence until very late in the campaign, and he was not permitted to vote, as he is not a Scottish resident, and it was thought that he was trying to avoid controversy on the subject.

Twitter abuse

Various abusive messages were aimed at the two-time Grand Slam winner, including a reference to the Dunblane Primary School massacre in 1996, where Murray was present at the age of eight, at the scene of the deaths of 16 schoolchildren and a teacher.

Downey feels that his on court achievements outweigh any disagreements over the former world number two’s nationality.

"Along with millions of other Scots, he is entitled to have a view on the future of the country where he was born.

"We also look forward to him continuing to make Britain proud of his on-court achievements. We are darn lucky to have him wear our colours as I know other tennis nations would trade for him in a heartbeat."

Race for London

Murray will not have to worry about playing for Great Britain again until the team’s first round tie at home to USA in March 2015, and his current attentions are focused upon qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

He is due to play India’s Somdev Devvarman in the second round of the Shenzhen Open in China on Thursday, in the first of three tournaments that will see him aim to finish inside the top eight of the world rankings.

There is a chance that he will have to finish in the top seven to qualify, as Croatia’s Marin Cilic, currently ranked ninth, will only need to finish inside the top 20 to make it to London, as he has won a Grand Slam this year at the US Open.

Murray is currently over 700 ranking points behind eighth placed Kei Nishikori of Japan, and 1000 points behind Czech Tomas Berdych in seventh, but he holds the advantage of having no points to defend going into the indoor season, which he missed last year due to having back surgery. 

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