Fed Cup: Judy Murray backs Great Britain to compete with the very best

Last Updated: 11/02/14 10:13pm

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Judy Murray: Happy with Great Britain's Fed Cup performance in Hungary

Judy Murray: Happy with Great Britain's Fed Cup performance in Hungary

Sky Bet

Captain Judy Murray is convinced Great Britain have the potential to "do some damage" in the Fed Cup over the coming years.

Murray's team last week missed out on promotion to World Group II after finishing in a tie for ninth place in the latest Europe/Africa zone Group I competition in Budapest.

Defeat by highly-rated Romania in their second match ended their hopes of progressing from their pool to the World Group II play-offs.

Yet with Romania boasting players such as Simona Halep, world-ranked 10, and Sorana Cirstea, ranked 26, the task was always going to be a tough one for a British side without injured Laura Robson.

There was also the disappointment of a loss to Hungary, but victory over Latvia removed the possibility of relegation and a win over Austria did see the competition end on a positive note.

The performances of Heather Watson, who beat two top-40 players over the week, were also highly encouraging.

Lots of positives

"It went pretty well all things considered," said Murray who was appointed in 2011. "The Europe/Africa zone Group I is notoriously difficult to get out of and unfortunately we were grouped with Romania, who were unquestionably the strongest team there.

"In terms of building a team for the future there were a lot of positives in there. We didn't lose any singles matches to players ranked below us.

"In two or three years' time I think we will have an opportunity to do some damage in the world group."
Judy Murray

"We didn't have Laura, and that makes things difficult, but prior to that she was in a good place. She was in the top 40 and we've seen in the slams she is a big-occasion player.

"When those two get themselves back on track we will be a force to be reckoned with.

"Johanna Konta is making good progress, it was an opportunity to bring Joss Rae back after injury and for Tara Moore to come in to make her debut.

"All the girls are young. They are 20, 21 and 22.

"We have lost two stalwarts in Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha but now it is a young team, and a very promising team.

"In two or three years' time I think we will have an opportunity to do some damage in the world group."

Change of format

Murray would like to see the competition fixtures spread out more and played home or away, like in the Davis Cup, rather than in one batch in a host territory.

She feels this would benefit both the competition and the women's game as a whole.

"I feel the format needs to be changed," she said. "It is difficult. You are totally governed by the team you can put out at that time.

"And we don't get crowds coming to watch us like in Davis Cup, which is home and away ties.

"You are lumped in a 16-team tournament played in whichever country is hosting it.

"The girls love it because for the bulk of the year they play individual competitions, and this is a different dynamic and a different feel, but I think a change of format is really needed."

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