Murray down in the dumps ahead of France clash

After recent Wimbledon loss, world number three prepares for Davis Cup

Afp July 16, 2015
"This is our level now as a team and this weekend is going to be a tough ask against four top grass-court players," said Murray. PHOTO COURTESY: AFP

LONDON: Andy Murray is still struggling to recover from his Wimbledon misery as the world number three prepares to lead Great Britain's bid to reach the Davis Cup World Group semi-finals for the first time in 34 years.

Murray's challenge for a second Wimbledon title was shattered by Roger Federer's sublime display in the semi-finals last week.

The 28-year-old Scot was demolished in straight sets by the Swiss star, but has had little time to lick his wounds with Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final against France getting underway at Queen's Club in west London on Friday.

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"I thought about it most days. I did say at the time and you know a couple of days after I was gutted," Murray said.

"He served over 80 per cent in the first and third sets - that won't happen to me the rest of the year."

Murray knows he needs to shake off the blues by the time he plays his first singles match against the French because Britain are within touching distance of advancing to the last four for the first time since 1981.

And he takes heart from returning to one of his favourites venues, the grass-courts of Queen's Club where he has won the Wimbledon warm-up event four times.

"You have to look at that match (against Federer) and see what happened, analyse it a bit and look at the tournament as a whole and Queen's as well, and think about those things and see what I can do better in the future," Murray said.

"But it doesn't take one day, there's a lot of preparation that goes into those events and you need to take the time when you are finished in them to analyse what's gone right and wrong, and things that you can do to improve in the future."

Murray admits it has been difficult to get those preparations completely right, but he is still confident of impressing against a France team including fellow Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet, along with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Nicolas Mahut.

"I think over the last couple of years we've had some good performances," Murray said.

"This is our level now as a team and this weekend is going to be a tough ask against four top grass-court players.

"They're all really, really good players so it is going to be a tough challenge for us but one we have an opportunity to win if we play at our best level."

For the sixth consecutive year, France are through to the World Group quarter-finals.

They have won the Davis Cup nine times, while Britain's last victory came in 1936.

But Tsonga has been impressed by the strides made by Murray and company and is expecting a difficult time.

"They have improved a lot," Tsonga said. "I think Andy is a good guy to bring in all the other guys to a good level.

"Today they have a great team. He has got his brother (Jamie Murray), he has James Ward and a few other guys.

"They play good tennis, they play at home, so for sure they will be a good team."