Andy Murray has begun his preparation for the Davis Cup final at the end of the month. The British number one knows he has a hard three weeks ahead with the World Tour Finals in London on hard court, followed immediately by the Davis Cup final in Ghent on indoor clay.
The change of surface is not ideal for the world number two, but the Brit is determined to make the preparations the best possible. With Team Murray on hand to aide the Brit with the most important preparations of the final part of the season, Murray is aiming to go all out to secure the Davis Cup for Great Britain. In their first final since 1978, the Brits are hoping to go one better and win the trophy. The last time Britain won the Davis Cup, a certain Fred Perry was part of the team. Murray has been good at laying the Perry ghost to rest in the last few years, this will be another to add to the list if the Brit can help the team to the victory.
Part of the preparation includes an intensive training session at The Queens Club on the indoor clay courts, hitting with British number two and recent addition to the top 50 Aljaz Bedene. Murray is not taking things lightly, and is pushing hard this week with Bedene on the courts. The Brit has stated that there is little point taking the preparations too easy and by inviting Bedene to help get ready, Murray is certainly preparing intensely, as Bedene is certainly handy on the clay surface. Bedene currently is not eligible to play Davis Cup for Britain having previously played for Slovenia, although the new Brit has another appeal to the ITF foundation coming up trying to overturn the ban.
After the week of intensive training on the clay at Queens, Murray has to switch back to the hard courts for the World Tour Finals, as one of the top eight singles players the Brit was the second player to qualify for the year ending tournament. The Brit has qualified for the eighth successive year, of these, it was only in 2013 that Murray not participated and that was due to having surgery on his back at the end of that year. In 2014, the Brit went on a six-week tournament dash to qualify, but this year he qualified much earlier.
Participation in the year ending event was thrown into doubt at one point by the Brit himself, when at the end of the Davis Cup Semifinal against Australia, he hinted that he may not attend the end of year event. The tournament director muted that Murray may face penalties for missing the event if not actually injured, despite saving the day the previous year when Roger Federer withdrew from the final, and the Brit stepped in for some exhibition singles and doubles.
Murray does not have to win the event to secure the end of year ranking position of #2. No one is likely to catch Novak Djokovic for the top spot, and the only battle is for the second spot. Murray by virtue of his points total, needs to win two rounds in the round robin section to secure the second spot. The only way he can be overtaken by Federer if the Brits wins the two matches, is for the Swiss to win the entire event. The Brit has already let it be known that the focus for him is the Davis Cup final, and he has stated that he will be careful of what his body is telling him when he makes the brief switch back to the hard courts in London.
Whatever happens, this is a very busy end of season for the Brit who is desperate to win the Davis Cup and is the only member of the top four yet to achieve this.