Andy Murray may only have one shot at Davis Cup glory
But Scottish ace warned that he cannot skip the ATP finals in London to focus on Great Britain's quest for glory
British tennis hero Andy Murray has been warned that he cannot withdraw from the lucrative ATP World Tour Finals in London in November to concentrate on winning the Davis Cup for Great Britain in Belgium a few days later.
Murray almost single-handedly dragged the GB team into the final of the competition, despite a back injury, as he was responsible in part for all three of the victories that brought down Australia. GB won 3-2 in the end, with Murray winning both his singles matches and teaming up with his brother, Jamie, to see off Australia in the doubles.
After the tie, an exhausted Murray, who was still in some pain, suggested that taking part in the ATP competition and the Davis Cup final against Belgium might be too much for him. The Scottish champion, who is prepared to forfeit the ATP money-spinner for the sake of his country, intimated that it was the Davis Cup that took priority.
The ATP event, a shootout between the world's top eight players, takes place on a hard indoor court in London between 15 and 22 November, while the Davis Cup final is likely to be played on a drop-in clay court in Ghent less than a week later.
Murray was subsequently "reminded" on Monday that a no-show in London could cost him "more than £1m in prize money and incentives, not to mention valuable ranking points before the Australian Open in January, as well as the opprobrium of the ATP", says Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian. "He is reconsidering."
The fact that Murray countenanced skipping what the ATP calls a "mandatory" event, only "underlines Murray's commitment to the British cause", says the Daily Telegraph. "For the season-ending jamboree at the O2 Arena is a lucrative business, offering £10,000 merely for attending, with an extra £100,000 on offer for each round-robin victory and a potential prize pot of more than £1.3m for a player who goes through the tournament unbeaten."
But Murray "loves playing for his country", notes The Independent. He showed it at the Olympics in 2012 and this year he made "extraordinary efforts" in helping Great Britain to their first final since 1978.
"Opportunities like this do not come along often and Murray wants to give his team the best chance of winning the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936," adds the paper. "He might not attempt the same super-human feats next year: the first round will be held on the first weekend of March, shortly after his wife Kim is due to give birth to their first child, while the quarter-finals are sandwiched into a hectic period between Wimbledon and the US Open along with the Olympics and two Masters Series tournaments."