Davis Cup: Glasgow memories will inspire, says Leon Smith

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
GB captain Leon Smith (right) in conversation with star player Andy Murray
Andy Murray will be key to Leon Smith's side's hopes of victory

The success Great Britain enjoyed the last time they played in Glasgow will stand them in good stead for their Davis Cup semi-final against Australia, says captain Leon Smith.

"We've great memories from the Glasgow tie against the USA in March," said Smith, who was born in the city.

"The atmosphere was absolutely terrific and we're looking for more of the same in what is a very, very important tie."

Andy Murray won both of his singles matches in the win against the USA and did so again in the quarter-final success against France at Queen's.

"When I speak to the players, Andy included, we talk of having such amazing memories of the Emirates Arena," Smith told BBC Scotland.

And as Great Britain look to reach the final for the Davis Cup for the first time since 1978, the captain says the camaraderie within the team has played a big part in their success.

"Obviously all the players are across the world playing for themselves," he said. "But the Davis Cup is that unique tie when you get together as a team, put on the Great Britain shirt and build that incredible feeling.

"You can see from the last tie how Andy Murray felt playing in it. He broke down in tears at the end of the match against France.

"It really is a different feeling to have the whole crowd and the energy it generates and your team-mates praying for you in what is very much an individual sport.

"Much will lie on the shoulders of Andy yet again, but that is one of the huge advantages of having one of the world's best tennis players in your team.

"As much as the pressure is on him, he goes into nearly every match as favourite and we've got a tremendous opportunity this year to try to add a little more history in what is a very important time for us."

Jamie and Andy Murray played together in the doubles against France in July
Brothers Andy and Jamie Murray played together in the doubles against France in July

Despite Smith's men having home advantage, the Australians, who have beaten Czech Republic and Kazakhstan to reach this stage, are expected to provide formidable opposition.

"It's another very difficult tie," said Smith.

"They've got strength in depth. They've got Bernard Tomic possibly coming back into the team, who's 25 in the world and a very dangerous player.

"There's the much spoken about Nick Kyrgios, who's one of the best young players on tour. He made the quarters of Wimbledon a couple of years ago so he's certainly going to be a threat.

"Then they've got Lleyton Hewitt, who everyone knows is coming to the end of his career, but he's very much an experienced Davis Cup campaigner. And they've got Sam Groth, who has the fastest recorded serve in tennis."

It would be extra special for Smith, who has been Great Britain captain since 2010, if the team could seal their spot in the final with a victory in his homeland.

"It's been a fantastic journey over the last five years," he added. "And now we're at this stage where the draw has opened up so to speak - but it's still very difficult."

Top Stories