Great Britain's Davis Cup captain Leon Smith has claimed Andy Murray will play a crucial role as the team returns to Europe/Africa Zone Group I of the tournament.
Smith oversaw the return of his team to the second tier of the Davis Cup on Saturday, after the doubles partnership of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins wrapped up a 3-0 victory over Hungary. Britain have now won their last four ties.
Murray has had almost uninterrupted success in the singles rubbers at this level, and Smith knows how important the world No. 4 will be when Britain step back into Group One. The Scot's busy playing schedule prevents him playing as many matches as Smith would like, but the captain feels confident Murray will do everything possible to play next season.
"In terms of winning matches, we need Andy," Smith said, "He makes a pivotal difference but you've still got to respect his schedule because he's going deep in every slam. We'll speak next year and see how it fits in but he's really enjoyed it, he's been a great part of it and he loves Davis Cup. The signs are positive that he wants to play next year."
Smith promised that there is still much work to be done on improving the state of the British game.
"When I started four ties ago, we should be winning those matches, and certainly when Andy plays. It's not about getting carried away but what's important is how we've done it," he said. "We've got a very good team spirit, everyone wants to play and I think it shows when they go out on court that they genuinely want to be here. But it still doesn't lie where we're at with singles, it's not good enough."
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