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Davis Cup: Great Britain without Andy Murray & Kyle Edmund for Uzbekistan tie

Andy Murray (second from right) helped Great Britain win the Davis Cup in 2015
Davis Cup World Group play-off
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow Dates: 14-16 September Coverage: Live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Andy Murray will not make his Davis Cup return in Great Britain’s tie against Uzbekistan in Glasgow later this month.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, 31, will instead continue his rehabilitation following hip surgery.

“I’m sure it was a difficult decision for Andy but I’m absolutely sure it is the right decision,” said GB captain Leon Smith.

Kyle Edmund, the British number one, also misses out but Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie and Jay Clarke are included.

Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot, specialist doubles players, have also been picked for the World Group play-off tie which starts on 14 September.

For Evans, it is a first return to the Davis Cup team since he was banned for a year in April 2017 after testing positive for cocaine.

“There’s still a lot of quality in the team,” Smith said.

A first-round loss to Spain in February means GB are featuring in the play-offs for the first time since joining the top-level World Group in 2014.

The format of the tournament is changing next year – it is turning into a season-ending 18-team even – so this tie will no longer determine a relegation.

‘Right decision’ for Murray and Edmund

Davis Cup: Great Britain beaten by Spain despite Cameron Norrie effort

Former world number one Murray helped his nation win the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years when they beat Belgium in 2015.

The Scot has not played in the competition since Britain suffered a semi-final defeat by Argentina in September 2016, missing three matches since through a combination of fatigue and injuries.

After his Grand Slam comeback was ended at the US Open, Murray said he would “love” to make what could have been his last competitive appearance in Scotland.

But he has decided his best long-term option is to continue with rehab work away from the court.

“Everyone agreed in the short term that he should continue the very good rehab work which had put him in the really good situation of being able to compete again,” Smith told BBC Radio 5 live.

“If he played Davis Cup then it would take a week of that away.”

Edmund, meanwhile, has endured a tough year physically, suffering with illness and sickness which has limited his training.

The 23-year-old Yorkshireman, ranked 16th in the world, was hampered by cramp on his way to a first-round defeat by unseeded Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi at the US Open last week.

“Kyle is not in the physical condition he wants to be in,” Smith added.

“His body is deconditioned and it’s the right decision for him too.”

The inclusion of Evans is recognition of the work the 28-year-old has put in since returning from his ban in April this year to climb up the rankings to 224 in the world.

“History is in the past,” said Smith. “He’s playing well. It’s astonishing how quickly he’s moved up the rankings.

“He’s got good Davis Cup experience and indoor is a good surface for him so I don’t have any reservations about him at all.”

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Britain will compete at the elite level of the reformed Davis Cup next year, whatever the result of this tie: and they remain strong favourites as Uzbekistan have only one player – world number 76 Denis Istomin – in the world’s top 400.

The outcome will, though, have a bearing on next year’s competition, as GB must win in Glasgow to be seeded in February’s preliminary round.

As Andy Murray told BBC Sport last week, there was “a big part” of him that wanted to play in Scotland – possibly for the last time, given the change in the Davis Cup format. But after discussions with his team, he has decided he needs to prioritise his continuing rehabilitation ahead of a trip to China.

Kyle Edmund is in a similar position. He needs to build up his fitness after recurring bouts of tonsillitis, and is expected to have some medical checks, and train in the UK next week. It will be interesting to see whether he then feels ready to represent Europe in the Laver Cup in Chicago the following week.

BBC Sport

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