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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 18:07 UK

Lloyd stands by Murray exclusion

Davis Cup World Group play-off reverse singles
Venue: Wimbledon Date: 21 September Coverage: Watch Murray and Bogdanovic from 1100 BST using red button or from 1130 BST on BBC Two

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Murray watches Britain's Davis Cup doubles rubber
Andy Murray was a spectator in Austria's thumping doubles win

Great Britain captain John Lloyd does not regret leaving Andy Murray out of Saturday's doubles despite seeing his side fall 2-1 behind against Austria.

A thumping defeat for Jamie Murray and Ross Hutchins leaves Britain needing to win both Sunday's singles to stay in the elite Davis Cup World Group.

"Andy said he was available, but it was my decision," said Lloyd.

"I didn't want to risk him going out there, playing in a long match and not being 100% on Sunday."

Murray won his singles match in straight sets on Friday, and hinted later that he would play in the doubles.

However, it emerged on Saturday that the world number four had picked up a slight abductor muscle strain in the lead-up to the tie and Lloyd opted not to risk him.

"He told me 'I'm ready to play, it's your decision'," explained Lloyd.

They played a great match from start to finish - particularly on return - but I certainly didn't play anywhere near the level I can play

Jamie Murray

"I have to look at the big picture and that's winning three matches to win the tie, which I still think we will.

"If we lose the match, I'll take the heat for that, fair enough. That's what I'm here for."

He added: "Looking at the way the Austrians played today, I don't care who would have played out there, it would have been a rough match. They were, quite frankly, bloody good."

An estimated crowd of 9,000 on Court One were left disappointed as Jamie Murray and Hutchins were soundly beaten by the more experienced Austrian pair of Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer.

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Highlights: Austrian pair win doubles

Murray, the world number 33 in doubles, admitted he had under-performed.

"They played a great match from start to finish - particularly on return - but I certainly didn't play anywhere near the level I can play," said the 22-year-old.

"We gave away our serves at the start of each set and never really gave ourselves a chance to get into it.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese

"It's not good to go out there in front of all your fans… certainly for me, to perform the way I did was bad news really."

Britain will now rely on Andy Murray to beat Melzer in Sunday's opening singles, before Alex Bogdanovic plays the deciding rubber against Austria number two Alex Peya.

Bogdanovic, who lost to Melzer in four sets on Friday, has never won a live Davis Cup match in six attempts, but Lloyd remains upbeat.

"They're both going to be nervous as hell - rightly so - but we think Alex can come through and it's a big opportunity for him and it's one that I'm hoping he takes," he said.

"We're going to boost his confidence and his morale and just keep plugging away, telling him the good things that are possible.

"It's a good opportunity - you take it or you don't.

"As long as he does his absolute maximum; if we lose, we lose, it all comes down to me and that's fine."

If Britain lose the tie, they will be relegated to Euro/Africa Zone Group One and will have to win two ties next year if they are to return to the elite 16-nation World Group in 2010.


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