Murray Criticises LTA Over British Tennis
1 December 2015, 10:03
Andy Murray is downbeat about the future of British tennis despite starring in their extraordinary Davis Cup victory.
Speaking the day after his heroics earned Great Britain a 3-1 win over Belgium to win the cup, the world number two said that "nothing ever gets done'' when it comes to changing the direction the game is heading in on home shores.
The Lawn Tennis Association was heavily criticised by figures inside and outside the game for the failure to capitalise on Murray's Wimbledon success in 2013.
Participation actually fell in the months following his victory over Novak Djokovic and the LTA was faced with losing part of its funding from Sport England.
Speaking to a number of national newspapers, Murray said: "It's almost sometimes like I feel like a bit like you waste time because nothing ever gets done so I also don't want to waste my time talking about stuff. That's also the reality.
"I'd rather concentrate on my own stuff and when I've finished playing, I'll have a lot more time to try and help or give back to the game. But just now, I've just got to concentrate on trying to win as much as possible.''
Murray added: "I don't know where the next generation are. I feel like I am saying 'I don't know' a lot but I genuinely don't know.''
His words came after LTA chief executive Michael Downey said he was confident the Davis Cup triumph could lead to a growth in the game.
The Canadian cited Britain's first Davis Cup tie next year, against Japan in Birmingham in March, as the ideal time to really push participation.
He said: "These are very special, emotional moments that can actually drive interest in our sport, there's no doubt about it.
"We need to keep in mind the time of year we have got. Participation peaks when you head into the spring/summer period. We've probably got a couple of great weeks of coverage (now). That is going to encourage participation.
"We are hoping this team wins team of the year (at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show). That would happen later in December.
"Then we will head towards that March period. Our team gets to come back to a home tie in Birmingham and that's going to be the time when we really want to see the activation hit a high level.''
Meanwhile, Britain's Davis Cup captain Leon Smith insisted he currently has no plans to leave the role.
Having guided his team from ignominy to the top of the world, it would be entirely understandable if Smith felt it was time for a change.
The Scot would surely be in demand given the remarkable job he has done and was non-committal when asked about his future immediately after the final triumph against Belgium.
But he was adamant that was simply because he has not had time to think about it, and that he is already planning for next year's first-round tie.
There remained plenty of ambiguity in his answer, though, with the 39-year-old saying: "There's been so much gone into this year but also the years gone by that I've not thought anything about it.
"I've just really been focused on helping the whole group trying to achieve what they've done. That's it.
"I just want to enjoy this and see what happens. We've already booked the stadium for March. We're well down the route for now, but who knows?''