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Andy Murray wants input in Davis Cup captaincy decision

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Players must be 'comfortable' with captain - Murray

Andy Murray believes the players should be involved in deciding who leads Britain's Davis Cup side should current captain John Lloyd be asked to leave.

Lloyd is under pressure after GB's loss to Lithuania, which means they will drop into the Davis Cup's lowest tier if they lose to Turkey in July.

"I would like to think the players ... should have a strong say on who they think should come in," said Murray.

"It's very important the players are comfortable with who the captain is."

Lloyd became the first Great Britain captain to oversee five straight defeats in the tournament as the side slumped 3-2 away to Lithuania last weekend - prompting the Lawn Tennis Association to launch a review into the team's performances.

But Murray, who did not play in the tie, has been irked by the "constant bashing" of British tennis since the loss.

606: DEBATE
Tiger Tim

"Everyone involved is obviously disappointed," added the world number four, who is preparing for the Indian Wells ATP tournament.

"It wasn't one of British tennis' best days but I think the most important thing now is that we're obviously at a pretty low point and I'm fed up reading just negative stuff all the time, the constant bashing.

"There needs to be some more constructive things said, people actually coming forward with ideas of what you can do to improve, how we can get better as a nation."

Murray, who honed most of his tennis skills as a junior in Spain, felt the way forward for British tennis was to implement a unified coaching strategy nationwide.

"We need to have a system in place where all the coaches are teaching the same way," he said.

"We can't have like 10 different nations having their input into how the kids play tennis.

"And there needs to be passion. We need to have people coaching the young kids who love British tennis and love their country, they can teach them hard work and passion.

"Right now, it's difficult because of the National Tennis Centre. All the best young British players, when they get to 15, 16, they go train at the National Tennis Centre. Not every single one but 90% of them.

"If I am a young British coach and I have done a great job with a junior and when they get to 16 they get taken away from me, I don't want to be a coach any more.

"I've heard the complaints about the LTA. 'Rip it up and start again' seems to be the mantra. Nothing would be more damaging for the sport in this country."

Jamie Baker

"It's like: 'What's the point?' You don't get to work with the kid that you brought up and that you've trained."

Murray's former coach Mark Petchey has also criticised the £39m National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

"I think British tennis is in a pretty shocking state right now. The money that's being spent at the top end of the game is astronomical," Petchey told Sky Sports News.

"It's not getting into the grassroots and ever since the idea of a National Tennis Centre, I said this is going to be the biggest white elephant ever in British tennis."

However, Davis Cup player Jamie Baker has come out in support of the National Tennis Centre.

"I've heard the complaints about the Lawn Tennis Association. 'Rip it up and start again' seems to be the mantra. Nothing would be more damaging for the sport in this country," said Baker, who missed the defeat by Lithuania after suffering an ankle injury.

And the Scot highlighted the treatment he has received for his injury at the National Tennis Centre as evidence of things moving in the right direction.

"The whole level of professionalism has gone up massively," added Baker.

"Everything is in place for the players to succeed.

"It's not up to the LTA to churn out winners. Their job is to look after the wider game and provide the environment for success at the elite level. And we as players need to grab that opportunity.

"I don't think the Davis Cup is an accurate reflection of the state of British tennis. We've got so many talented youngsters coming through the ranks.

"Success will come but, if we start again now, there's a danger that losing in Lithuania won't be inexcusable. It'll be the norm."

Meanwhile, tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has trained 10 world number ones suggested the problem stems from the fact Britain "is not a tennis nation".

"British tennis has shortcomings with deep cultural and historical roots. There's even an argument that Britain is not a tennis nation," he wrote in his column on www.sportingintelligence.com.

"Sure, you stage the most prestigious event in the world - Wimbledon. But your national sports are soccer and cricket, and your Olympic resources go to cycling, rowing, sailing, swimming, all sports at which you excel at or are improving in.

"Tennis is part of a social scene."



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see also
Becker backs Henman for GB role
09 Mar 10 |  Tennis
David Lloyd demands Draper exit
09 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Lloyd considers Davis Cup future
08 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Davis Cup loss 'devastates' Lloyd
07 Mar 10 |  Tennis
GB fall to humiliating Cup defeat
07 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray defends Davis Cup pull-out
03 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Cash critical over LTA 'elitism'
21 Jun 07 |  Tennis


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