ATP Tour

Murray momentum key to Britain

2016-09-15 08:53
Andy Murray (Getty Images)

Paris - Andy Murray's stamina will be key to holders Great Britain's push for a second consecutive Davis Cup final when they meet Argentina in the semi-finals in Glasgow starting on Friday.

The 29-year-old Scot, who won a second Wimbledon and Olympic title this year, wants to cap the best season of his career by reaching November's final against either France or Croatia who play in Zadar.

"It's been the best year of my career so far and I hope I can keep it going," said Murray, who had a run of seven consecutive finals before his quarter-final defeat at the US Open.

"I took a few days off after New York and came here (Glasgow) and I've been practising since Sunday. I get a little break after I'm finished here so one more big push this weekend."

Murray helped Britain to their first title since 1936 in Ghent in 2015 and is expected to play all three days on the hard surface at the Emirates Arena.

The world number two is joined by Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot.

Edmund won two singles ties in the quarter-finals with Jamie Murray and Inglot sealing a 3-2 victory over Serbia in Belgrade.

Captain Leon Smith faces a selection dilemma with his in-form squad - Jamie Murray clinching his second Grand Slam of the season with the men's doubles in New York as Edmund reached the fourth round and Evans the third.

Argentina have never lifted the trophy, reaching four finals - most recently in 2011 - but have been boosted by the return of Juan Martin del Potro.

The South Americans have won their last three World Group meetings with Britain whose only success was back in 1928.

Murray could face del Potro in a rematch of their Olympic final as early as Friday.

Del Potro, who spent two years away from the game after undergoing three wrist operations, played only doubles in the quarter-final win in Italy in July.

But he has shown fine form by reaching the Olympic final in Rio, and the US Open quarter-finals.

"He's one of the best players in the world when he's fit and healthy and he's played really well over the last couple of months," said Murray.

Del Potro will be joined by Federico Delbonis and Guido Pella, ranked 41 and 49 respectively, and Leonardo Mayer, 64th.

France suffered a double blow as they take on Croatia without US Open semi-finalist Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a quarter-finalist in Flushing Meadows, both sidelined with knee injuries.

Richard Gasquet, ranked 17th, will now fulfil singles duties, along with 18th-ranked Lucas Pouille, the sensation of the summer.

"Our strength is that we can do without one, two or three (players) and remain competitive," France captain Yannick Noah insisted.

"We have players who have raised their level the past few months, they all had a great summer and above all at the US Open."

Pouille, 22, reached the quarter-finals in New York beating former world number one Rafael Nadal.

And France have one of the best doubles pairings in the world in Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Croatia will be led by 11th-ranked Marin Cilic for the tie on the Dalmatian coast.

The two countries have met once before in 2004, with France winning 4-1 in Metz.

In World Group play-off ties, Nadal leads Spain against India in New Delhi, as Switzerland are without US Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer in Uzbekistan and Australia host Slovakia in Sydney.

Read more on:    davis cup  |  andy murray  |  tennis


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