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Men's Tennis Murray unlikely to play in Davis Cup as he looks forward to Australian Open

ANDY MURRAY does not intend to play in next month’s Davis Cup following his defeat in Indian Wells — and believes that he might not deserve to be selected anyway.

The former world number one bowed out of the Indian Wells Open in California on Tuesday night after a straight-sets loss to world number four Alexander Zverev.

Defeat ends a solid two months of action for the 34-year-old, both in Europe and the United States, and he is not prepared to risk injury by playing in the upcoming team competition.

It was two years ago that Murray further stalled a comeback from his hip replacement by suffering bruising to his pelvis in the 2019 Davis Cup, which severely affected his activity in 2020.

Murray wants to ensure that he gets enough rest and time with his family at the end of next month before an earlier-than-usual departure to Australia for next January’s grand slam.

“I’ve given a lot to the Davis Cup, and sometimes to my own detriment physically,” he told BBC Sport.

“The same thing happened last time I played Davis Cup at the end of 2019. I know there was coronavirus, but I was struggling with that really up until September time the following year.

“I also don’t feel right now I would be playing, either. Obviously that would be up to Leon [Smith, captain], but I’m not sure I deserve to play in that team.

“Cam [Norrie] and Dan [Evans] have had a great year, Liam Broady’s in and around the top 100 now and we’ve got very strong doubles as well.

“Right now I’m not planning on playing the Davis Cup and, with the late finish to it and early departure to Australia, with my schedule between now and the end of the year, I am going to have to rest and take a break and give my body a chance to breathe.

“And I want to make sure in the off-season I get to spend as much time with my family as I can, because I have been away from that recently and that will be case when I go to Australia as well.”

Murray has shown signs that he will be able to compete on the ATP Tour over recent weeks with some encouraging wins, but missed the opportunity to claim a real scalp against Zverev.

The Scot says that fitness is not an issue, but that his form is.

“It’s pretty hard playing top-level professional sport with a metal hip,” he said. “There’s obviously lots of compensation happening around that area, like the pelvis and the lumbar spine. I would imagine my body is taking some time to get used to that.

“On top of that I’m not young either. I’ve played a lot of years on the tour as well, so there’s some wear and tear in other parts of my body, too.

“This is physically the best I’ve felt for a while. I’m sort of battling my game a little bit, the consistency isn’t there. I don’t know, the decision-making is not great in the important moments still.

“The moments that I was always – I think for the most part – very strong in, I haven’t been this year. So I’m disappointed with that.”

Zverev paid tribute to Murray’s performance in his on-court interview after the match.

“He’s the only one of the ‘big four’ that I hadn’t beaten yet, so I’m happy that I’ve done it today,” he said.

“I always stayed in the match, even though I was down a break in both sets. I always knew I had a chance. Especially the second set, I think was an extremely high level from both of us. It could have gone both ways.

“Obviously it was a fantastic match. I thought Andy played extremely well, maybe as well as he’s played since the [hip] surgery. I hope he continues playing the same way because tennis did miss him for a long time and I think it’s good to have him back.”

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