Joe Salisbury backs Britain to step out of the shadow of Andy Murray and challenge for Davis Cup glory

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Britain’s Davis Cup team can step out of the shadow of Andy Murray and challenge for Davis Cup glory, according to doubles specialist Joe Salisbury.

The British team get their ambitions under way in Innsbruck against France on Saturday without their long-term talisman.

Murray had already ruled himself out of contention and, as the fifth-ranked Briton in the world rankings, said he did not deserve selection.

And Salisbury, who will be making his Davis Cup debut this weekend, told Standard Spot: “In the past, all the guys have played a big part in the team but it did feel like Andy carrying the team and having to do well for the team to do well.

“Even without Andy playing, this feels like a strong team – there’s not one person that can’t step up and do well.”

The Wimbledon-based Salisbury heads up the team’s double ambitions with Neal Skupski while Cameron Norrie spearheads the team in the singles ahead of Dan Evans and Liam Broady.

“This is a really strong team,” said Salisbury. “I think everyone here, all the players have had the best year of their careers. Everyone’s in good form, feeling confident, and we feel like we can have a good run here.”

Salisbury has picked up three Grand Slam titles this year while Norrie has climbed into the world’s top 10 off the back of winning the prestigious Indian Wells title. In addition, Dan Evans won his first ATP Tour title while Liam Broady won his first ATP Challenger title back at the end of September.

“It’s not a coincidence that a lot of players have done well this year and following on from other successes,” he said. “You had Emma Raducanu’s win in the US and, soon after, Cam won Indian Wells and Liam won the challenger event.

“We won in the US at the same time as Emma plus some of the younger guys won futures events. That’s not a coincidence that’s happened – those titles motivate and inspire everyone.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Britain ought to top a Davis Cup group including France, despite it containing the pair that beat Salisbury to the ATP Finals doubles title in Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert, and the Czech Republic.

At the last Davis Cup, Murray got Britain off to a winning start before pulling out injured as the team made it to the semi-finals.

Of the opportunity of even winning it two years on, Salisbury said: “I think we have a good chance. You just never know. Cam’s had an unbelievable year and shown he can beat anyone, Evo’s showed that too in beating Novak Djokovic.

“We’ll be underdogs going into some matches but I don’t think there’s any match that we don’t stand a chance of winning. It’ll be tough but we’re confident.”

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