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Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Sunday, 20 September 2009 18:37 UK

Lloyd admits to British failings

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Lloyd 'realistic' after Davis Cup relegation

Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd said relegation from Group One was "a big disappointment" but could be good for the team's future.

A 3-2 loss to Poland in Liverpool condemned Great Britain to the drop and Lloyd told BBC Sport the team would now play at a more realistic level.

"Other than Andy Murray, we are a Group Two team," he said.

"We've got to fight our way back into Group One. The boys need to earn their stripes until we mature a bit."

Murray made light of a wrist injury to play three games in three days for his country, beating Michal Przysiezny in Friday's opening singles match before losing along with Ross Hutchins in the doubles on Saturday.

606: DEBATE
Cast a Shadow

He then beat Jerzy Janowicz in the penultimate singles match on Sunday to set up a deciding rubber between Cup debutant Dan Evans and Poland's Michal Przysiezny.

But the 19-year-old's lack of high-level experience was cruelly exposed as he lost 6-2 6-1 7-5, sealing Great Britain's defeat.

Questions will now be asked about the wisdom of Murray continuing to play in the tournament, and Lloyd admitted he did not know what the world number three's decision would be.

"I'm old school - the way I look at it, you play for your country if you're in group eight," added Lloyd.

"But he's turned out and done a magnificent job for us here. If he can play, then great, but if he can't, it's a chance for the others - and maybe we'll see him back in Group One when the others are mature."

Murray, 22, said the team were "where we deserve to be" but added that in the long-term, although he would be available for Davis Cup ties, it may be beneficial if he wasn't selected.

"We clearly aren't good enough to be playing against these teams; with or without me we're struggling to win matches," the Scot added.

"If I'm fit I'll play. If not they could look to the future to try to give these guys an opportunity. It's not a huge amount of progress if I win my matches and then we come into this level again and go straight back down.

Andy Murray
Could this be the last time we see Murray in a Davis Cup tie?

"We need to make sure the guys who come in are ready and experienced enough to deal with these sort of matches. Right now they aren't.

"Dan [Evans] is a talented boy. I'm sure with support and encouragement rather than negative stuff towards him he'll become a better player. He needs to make sure he learns from it."

Lloyd defended his decision to pick such an inexperienced player as Evans for the decisive match.

In the first two sets the occasion seemed to get to him, before he regained composure and restored some pride in the final set.

"He earned the right to play and he'll come through another day," said Lloyd.

"Lack of depth has been our problem for a while. We have some good young players and hopefully we'll get some maturity through.

"The Davis Cup is a tough beast - they get thrown in and can lose easily, and sometimes you can lose confidence. It'll take a bit of time."



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see also
GB relegated after Davis Cup loss
20 Sep 09 |  Tennis
GB suffer Davis Cup doubles loss
19 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Murray admits to fitness concerns
19 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Murray wins but aggravates injury
18 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Spain and Czechs through to final
20 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Murray slips to third in rankings
15 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Murray outclassed by superb Cilic
08 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Murray commits to Davis Cup team
23 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Britain slump to Davis Cup defeat
07 Mar 09 |  Tennis


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