Australia set to feel Murray’s backlash

Andy Murray was in no mood to talk Davis Cup after making a foul-mouthed and premature exit from the US Open in New York.

Murray’s 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-0) fourth-round loss to South African Kevin Anderson snapped the Scot’s run of 18 consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances, a streak bettered only by Roger Federer (36), Jimmy Connors (27) and Novak Djokovic (26).

But Australia may well feel the backlash in next week’s Davis Cup semi-final showdown in Glasgow, with Great Britain’s spearhead now free to return home for extra preparation for the tie.

Murray is almost certain to play both singles and doubles in the indoor hardcourt tie from September 18-20 and another sapping run to the final in New York would have left the world No.3 with little time to recover and only two days’ practice in Glasgow.

“I don’t know if it will be a blessing or not,” said Murray as he stewed over his shock loss to Anderson.

“I’m looking forward to the tie, yeah. But right now I’m not thinking about that.”

Murray, whose series of F-bombs in protest to Anderson’s extended toilet break after the second set had Flushing Meadows abuzz, claimed uncertainty around the make-up of Australia’s four-man team also made it tough to rate Britain’s chances.

Australian captain Wally Masur had been expected to reveal his line-up at Flushing Meadows on Monday, but any announcement has been delayed.

The official deadline to have teams registered with the ITF is 10am Tuesday in New York (midnight AEST).

“It’s quite hard for me to assess (any) chances until I know what team they’re going to put out and what players they’re going to select,” the dejected Scot said.

“I don’t know who’s playing, so it’s quite tough to know.”

Murray, though, boasts an ominous 15-0 record against Australians in singles and will be heavily favoured to topple whoever Masur selects out of Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios, Sam Groth, Thanasi Kokkinakis and retiring Cup stalwart Lleyton Hewitt.

Assuming he wins both his singles rubbers, Australia would have to take down British No.2 Jamie Ward, the world No.135, in the other two singles matches as well as win the day-two doubles.

“Yeah, doubles will be important,” Murray said.

“I think all of the points are. You need to be the first team to get to three.

“I think everyone has an opportunity to beat everyone. I don’t know if there’s one match in particular that’s more important than the others.”

Masur is understand to have finalised his team, but was awaiting approval from the Tennis Australia board, including director of men’s player performance Pat Rafter, TA chief executive Craig Tiley and president Steve Healey.

After being suspended from Australia’s quarter-final win over Kazakhstan, Tomic, the country’s top-ranked man, said he was desperate for a recall.

To accommodate Tomic, Masur, with the approval of the board, must drop either Kyrgios, Kokkinakis, Groth or Hewitt, who appears the only certainty following he and Groth’s singles and doubles heroics in Australia’s 3-2 comeback win over Kazakhstan.

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