• Davis Cup

Murray opts out of Davis Cup meeting with Russia

ESPN staff
January 31, 2013
Andy Murray has not played in the Davis Cup since 2011 © Getty Images

Australian Open finalist Andy Murray has pulled out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Russia in April.

Murray, the world No. 3, has not played in a Davis Cup match for his country since 2011 - and has opted to skip the Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 meeting in Coventry in order to concentrate on his individual clay court season.

However, the Scot has pledged to be available for captain Leon Smith's team towards the end of 2013.

"It's a shame to miss out on the Davis Cup, as I always enjoy playing," Murray said. "I speak to Leon and the team on a regular basis and will definitely be available to play the next Davis Cup tie later this year."

Smith was accommodating of Murray's decision, noting that the 25-year-old's individual exploits bring obvious benefits to British tennis.

"He has worked extremely hard on his game, elevating it to another level and we have all seen the fruits of that since Wimbledon," Smith said. "Andy's success continues to inspire more and more young people to take up the sport and we look forward to welcoming him back into the team in September."

Without Murray to call upon, Jamie Baker is likely to lead the team against the 2002 and 2006 competition winners, with James Ward, Josh Goodall and Dan Evans competing for the second singles spot.

Smith admitted beating Russia will be difficult without Murray to call upon.

Smith added: "We are very excited to be taking Davis Cup to Coventry and taking advantage of strong home support.

"It will be tough against Russia, who are arguably the strongest team in our group, but we'll be giving it our best shot."

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