• Davis Cup

Davis Cup should be mandatory - Murray

ESPN staff
September 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray will be playing in the Davis Cup for the first time in two years © Getty Images
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Andy Murray believes the Davis Cup should become mandatory in order for the top players to compete in the event.

Murray is set to make his first outing for Great Britain in two years when he faces 16-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia on Friday, and the Wimbledon champion feels the scheduling of the ATP World Tour forces himself along with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to skip representing their countries.

"We're told which events to play throughout the whole year. They should make Davis Cup a mandatory event so it isn't up for discussion," Murray told BBC Sport.

"It isn't about prioritising Davis Cup. We, as tennis players, are told which tournaments to play. We don't have much flexibility in our schedule at all, and that's why I don't understand why they don't make Davis Cup a mandatory event.

"We are meant to play 18 mandatory events during the year, which is about 27, 28 weeks' worth of tournaments, and we don't get to decide which ones we do and don't play."

Murray, who relinquished his US Open crown when he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, also revealed the strains the Davis Cup has on players.

"The hard part about it is the surface changes. The hard part about it is the surface changes," the British No. 1 said.

"Davis Cup finishes on a Sunday and there are tournaments that start on the ATP Tour on Tuesday. That's unhealthy - it's not good for the body to travel from Croatia on a Sunday night, hit once on a hard court, and then play a match on it going flat out."

And Murray insists the Davis Cup only requires minor changes in order to accommodate the top-ranked players, as the issue of when to schedule the event has been a contested talking point in previous years with the organisers.

"That's also challenging but they've [the International Tennis Federation] got a good turn out this week. Rafa's playing, Novak's playing, so the competition still does very well. They draw big crowds - there just needs to be a few tweaks.

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