Sep 13 2013
British number one Andy Murray believes the Davis Cup should become "a mandatory event" in order for top players not to skip ties.
The 26-year-old claims the lack of flexibility in the ATP Tour schedule leaves players with no choice over the tournaments in which they compete, and wants the international team event to be made a compulsory part of the elite players' programme.
Murray, who will on Friday compete in the competition for the first time in two years when Great Britain begin their World Group play-off tie against Croatia in Umag, told BBC Sport: "We're told which events to play throughout the whole year.
"They should make Davis Cup a mandatory event so it isn't up for discussion.
"It isn't about prioritising Davis Cup. We, as tennis players, are told which tournaments to play.
"We don't have much flexibility in our schedule at all, and that's why I don't understand why they don't make Davis Cup a mandatory event. We are meant to play 18 mandatory events during the year, which is about 27, 28 weeks worth of tournaments, and we don't get to decide which ones we do and don't play."
Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan sprang a surprise at the draw in Umag by naming 16-year-old Borna Coric as his number two singles player.
That means the teenager, who has a British coach and trains part-time in London, finds himself up against the reigning Wimbledon champion for his first ever best-of-five-sets match.
Coric is regarded as one of the sport's brightest young talents and last weekend won the junior title at the US Open, nine years after Murray lifted the same trophy.
Murray said: "I haven't seen Coric play before but plenty of our guys have.
"He's very young and is very inexperienced at this level but I'll be ready for him. I'm looking forward to getting out on the court."
For the world number three, it will be a good chance to get the US Open out of his system a week after his disappointing quarter-final defeat by Stanislas Wawrinka.
As expected, Dan Evans was picked as Britain's number two player by captain Leon Smith following his terrific run to the third round in New York.
The 23-year-old is at a new career-high ranking of 149 and will play Friday's second singles rubber against Croatian number one Ivan Dodig, ranked 35.
Murray has put himself forward to play in the doubles rubber with Colin Fleming, which means he is scheduled to play on all three days.