ATP Tour

Pressure all on Murray says Hewitt

2015-09-17 09:12
Andy Murray (AFP)

Glasgow - Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt says the pressure is all on Andy Murray as he attempts to lead his Great Britain side to Davis Cup glory.

Murray suffered the disappointment of being knocked out in the fourth round of the US Open by Kevin Anderson in New York last week - his earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament in five years.

The 28-year-old is now concentrating on leading Team GB into the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1978 as they prepare to face Australia in their semi-final clash at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

The best-of-five tie opens with two singles rubbers on Friday, followed by the doubles rubber on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday.

Murray played three tough matches in three days in GB's win over France in the quarter-finals in July - including a doubles win with older brother Jamie - and Hewitt says the weight of expectation will be on the Scot again this time round.

"A lot of the pressure is obviously on Andy," said Hewitt, who won the competition with Australia in 1999 and 2003.

"Whoever gets the opportunity to face him on day one really has nothing to lose, you can go out free swinging and play your game."

The 34-year-old, who is set to retire after the Australian Open at the start of 2016, added: "I think Andy pretty much has got to win that match in a lot of ways so it's going to be a bigger rubber for them, I think, and these young boys are big match players as well.

"We're going to try and come up with the best team play to win three out of the five matches."

However, two-time major winner Murray was adamant that Great Britain's Davis Cup squad was not a one-man team.

"I wouldn't say it's all on me. We got into this position by everyone in the team playing their part," Murray said.

"I think there's pressure on everybody. It's Lleyton's last chance to win the Davis Cup and he'll be feeling pressure as well and all the players in their team will be feeling the same way.

"The pressure is on us as well because everyone views this as a good opportunity, so we can point fingers at one another and say there is pressure for certain individuals and none on the others but they'll be feeling the pressure as well and we'll see who handles it better over the weekend."

The 28-year-old, who will be cheered on by a passionate home support in Scotland, added that he had played some of the best tennis of his career in the competition.

"When I am competing for my country I have played some of the best tennis of my life. So, I obviously enjoy it and it inspires me," Murray said. "Obviously I didn't play as well as I would have liked in New York but hopefully I can turn it around here."

It is Great Britain's first semi-final for 34 years, and the nine-time champions are now the favourites to win the event for the first time since 1936.

Captain Leon Smith is still to decide on his second singles player with James Ward, Kyle Edmund and late call up Dan Evans vying for the spot.

Australia, led by captain Wally Masur, have had their own selection problems after Nick Kyrgios, the second-highest ranked Australian, was left out of the squad by mutual agreement.

Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis are the highest-ranked singles players for the 28-time winners, with Hewitt and Sam Groth likely to play doubles.

The winners will play either Argentina or Belgium in the final.

Read more on:    lleyton hewitt  |  andy murray  |  tennis


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