Murray given time to rest
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LEON Smith is keeping the door open for Andy Murray to face Canada in the Davis Cup in Ottawa from February 3-5. Team GB captain Smith has left the world No.1 out of his nominated four, which include AndyÈs brother Jamie, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Dom Inglot, in order to give him a rest.
We will continue to speak with Andy in the coming days regarding his potential involvement
Murray won 11 out of 12 rubbers as he helped secured GB the Cup in 2015, the first time the founders of the competition had succeeded in over 79 years.
And he turned out in two of the three ties played as the holders made the semi-finals last year.
But the double Wimbledon and Olympic champion had a full-on schedule in the second half of last year climbing to the summit.
And Smith said: Andy has been unbelievable for our team. He gets on great with all the players and the staff and loves playing for Great Britain. But he has to look after himself and has played an awful lot of tennis, particularly in the last six months of the year. At some point you need to take a break.
We will continue to speak with Andy in the coming days regarding his potential involvement and if he decides he would like to be part of the team then we can of course change the nominations as necessary."
CanadaÈs Milos Raonic, the world No.3, beaten in the finals of QueenÈs and the All England Club last year, is lined up as the hosts No.1 with Peter Polansky and Vasek Pospisil, both ranked in three figures, in support..
Smith said: We know the challenge the Canadian team poses they have vast experience in singles and doubles but we also have a strong team with proven track record in Davis Cup. This should make for a really competitive tie. As always our players and team will give their best efforts in representing their country.
Smith has every confidence in his picks, with Evans having made the fourth round of the Australian Open with Murray to crash into the top 50.
He said: IÈm delighted to name the four players travelling for this away tie. First rounds are never easy and this one especially more so with the quick turnaround in conditions and travel from Australia to Canada.
British tennis continues to go from strength to strength and the momentum continues to build amongst our elite players continuing to make in-roads up the rankings.
After Melbourne, for only the second week in the last 39 years, we will have three British men in the ATP worldÈs top 50 singles rankings, as well as Jamie who ended 2016 as part of the No.1 doubles team."
Team GB beat Canada 4-1 in their only ever meeting 50 years ago in Bournemouth.
The winners meet either France or Japan in the last eight in April and the losers have to play a relegation play-off in September.
Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand and Sponsorship Aegon UK, said: We wish Leon and all of the Aegon GB Davis Cup team the very best of luck against Canada. We are so proud to support the team, especially during this historic period for British tennis. LeonÈs team brings a remarkable recent run of success with them, winning 14 of 17 ties under his leadership and owning a 4-1 record in away ties.
*Quotes from the LTA and BBC