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Murray admits ‘this may be the last time’ after Davis Cup exit

Andy Murray loved playing in front of the Glasgow Davis Cup crowd for what he admitted was his last time.

A dead rubber against low-ranked Kazakh Dmitry Popko after Britain’s disappointing exit was far from the 35-year-old’s most important game in the competition, but a nearly full house at the Emirates Arena still enthusiastically cheered him on to a 6-4 6-3 win.

Murray has won 32 of his 35 Davis Cup singles matches, the most famous being the eight he played to lead Great Britain to the title in 2015, with the matches against the United States and Australia in Glasgow as well as many others over the past decade and one helped.

He said: “I found it difficult at first. It’s just hard to know how to play emotionally because you can’t fake it. I wanted to win today but if I lose it doesn’t really matter. That’s what I love about sports.

“But it was great. They did an amazing job today. It was the busiest all week. I’m glad I got to come out and play in front of them. This might be the last time whether I play here or whether I play for Great Britain in front of such a crowd.

“If this is the last time, it’s amazing what they’ve done for our team. The crowd in a lot of our games made a big difference. They were some of the best memories I had on a tennis court.

“I’m sad that we may not have the opportunity to play here again, but we could also be back here in February potentially. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Murray waved to the crowd at the end and later admitted he didn’t realize until late in the game that it could be the end of an era.

“I only thought about it going 5-2 today in the second set,” he said. “I didn’t think about it until the weekend or during the doubles matches or whatever. I kind of realized that while I was playing the game.

“I felt it a bit at the end. I kinda lost my focus and felt a little emotional about it.”

It seems unlikely that captain Leon Smith will stay with Joe Salisbury and Murray as a first-choice doubles pair after two costly, albeit close, defeats to the United States and the Netherlands, who qualified for the knockout stages. in November at the expense of Great Britain.

Jack Draper, 20, who missed this week through injury, will be pushing hard to make his debut next time Britain play the Davis Cup, while Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans are both fine ahead of Murray in the standings.

Britain are set to host the group stage of the final again next year, though probably not in Glasgow, but, barring another wild card, they would have to win a play-off in early 2023 to retain that role.

Having cut and changed the format since 2018, when Gerard Pique’s Kosmos group took over the management of the competition following a huge investment, they seem to have settled on a group stage contested in four cities in September, followed by a week of eight-team finals in November.

Poor crowds for fixtures not involving home teams remain a problem, while matches in Hamburg were generally not well catered for, but organizers said they were happy with the current set-up and announced that more than 100,000 people were present at the four sites.

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