Andy Murray has revealed that he may decide to skip this year’s World Tour Finals in order to prepare for Great Britain’s Davis Cup final against Belgium in November.
Murray inspired Britain to victory over Australia in the Davis Cup semi-finals, securing their first appearance in a final since 1978 with a straight-sets defeat of Bernard Tomic in Glasgow on Sunday.
Belgium are expected to stage the final on clay and with the hard-court World Tour Finals not due to finish until the week before, Murray is thinking about sitting out the prestigious event at London’s O2 Arena.
“The O2 would obviously be a question mark for me if we were playing on the clay,” Murray, a two-time World Tour Finals semi-finalist, told BBC Radio 5.
“I would go and train and prepare on the clay to get ready for the (Davis Cup) final. You saw last year with Roger Federer that the matches at the O2 are extremely tough and physically demanding.
“If you reach the final and play on the Sunday, you also need to take time off. You can’t just play five matches against the best players in the world and then not take any days off.”
Missing the World Tour Finals would oblige Murray to forego prize money ranging from £300,000 ($465,800, 414,00 euros) to £1.25 million, as well as 1,500 ATP ranking points.
His 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Tomic gave Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead, with Thanasi Kokkinakis’ win against Dan Evans in Sunday’s final singles rubber making the final score 3-2.
Belgium, who defeated Argentina 3-2 in the other semi-final, will host the final on November 27-29.
Murray, 28, won both singles matches as well as the doubles with elder brother Jamie, and revealed afterwards that a back injury sustained in training had dogged him throughout the tie.
“My back had been giving me a lot of trouble this weekend and for a few days before the tie as well,” the world number three said.
“The previous issues I’ve had with my back have been completely different. My back was fine during the US Open and all through that stretch.
“I took five days off and started practising again. On Tuesday night, once I had finished practising and had cooled down, my back was extremely sore and it got progressively worse over the next couple of days.”
– First title since 1936 –
Victory puts nine-time winners Britain, on the verge of relegation to Zone Group III five years ago, a step closer to an historic first title triumph since 1936.
Murray is now looking to become only the fourth player ever to win the Davis Cup, Olympic gold and multiple Grand Slams.
“We have an opportunity to win the event in the next match, but there’s so much tennis still to go,” said the former US Open and Wimbledon champion.
“We still need to win three matches and there’s two or three months until the next tie, and a lot can happen between now and then.
“It would be an incredible achievement to win it, but there’s a long way to go.”
It was a final Davis Cup campaign for 34-year-old Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who is set to retire following the Australian Open in January 2016.
“It is a great honour. I have never shied away from it,” Hewitt, tipped as the next Australian Davis Cup captain, said of representing his country.
“Tennis is a very selfish sport and I have always loved getting together as a group and playing for your country.
“We did everything we could have done in this tie. We laid it on the line again so I’ve no regrets, but at the same time I’m disappointed as we were so close to having the opportunity to play in another Davis Cup final.
“I’ve been lucky and had the opportunity to celebrate at the end of a winning campaign like 2003 and my first year in 1999, but I’ve definitely had my fair share of gut-wrenching losses as well.
“These boys are going to get a lot more opportunities and they will be better players because of what happened this weekend.”