Victorious Davis Cup skipper signs new deal

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Britain’s Davis Cup-winning captain Leon Smith has extended his contract and will lead the team for at least another three years, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced Wednesday.

Smith replaced former Australian Open finalist John Lloyd in 2010 after Britain had suffered a humiliating defeat by Lithuania and were on the verge of relegation to the bottom tier of the men’s team tennis tournament.

But 2015 saw Smith, thanks mainly to the efforts of Andy Murray, a fellow Scot, guide Britain to their first Davis Cup title in 79 years.

Smith, who will remain in post until 2018 and also continue as the LTA’s head of men’s tennis, said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to continue captaining our Davis Cup team.

“We have achieved so much over the last six years and becoming world champions last year will be the highlight of my career,” added Smith, who coached Murray when the world number two was a junior.

LTA chief executive Michael Downey said: “As I said after Leon led the Great Britain team to the title in Ghent, we are lucky to have the world’s best Davis Cup captain lead our nation.

“We are delighted to extend his contract further as we continue to build on this run of success.”

Last weekend saw Murray grind out a near five-hour win over Kei Nishikori as Britain beat Japan in Birmingham to set up a quarter-final with Novak Djokovic’s Serbia.

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