GB captain Smith positive despite defeat
Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain Leon Smith says his squad “lack depth” but remained positive about their progress despite defeat in the quarter-finals.
Britain – without world number one Andy Murray – were knocked out by France on Saturday, going down 3-0 in Rouen.
It was their first defeat over two days since 2009 – the year before Leon Smith took over the captaincy.
“A quarter-final, a win, a semi-final, a quarter-final – in decades previous you weren’t getting that,” said Smith.
“It’s a damn sight better than it used to be but there’s still work to be done.”
Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans both suffered straight-sets defeats in their singles rubbers on Friday, before Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot were beaten in four sets in Saturday’s doubles.
GB failed to make the semi-finals for the first time in three years, but Leon Smith insisted there were still positives to take away.
“It’s always really disappointing to lose because we’ve got used to going a little bit deeper into the year.
“But we played against a very good team and we’ve still maintained our World Group status, which is important for us.”
Smith succeeded John Lloyd as captain in 2010, when GB were on the verge of relegation to the competition’s bottom tier.
And in November 2015 he led the team to their first Davis Cup title in 79 years with victory over Belgium, before another semi-final appearance in 2016.
But without the services of Murray this year – who opted to rest in the first-round win over Canada and was ruled out of the quarter-final with an elbow injury – GB looked short of star quality.
“Do we lack depth? Yes, of course we lack depth – that’s pretty obvious,” added Smith.
“We want to make sure that we find a few more players both on the men’s and women’s side that are playing on the main tour.
“Everyone knows Andy was going to play this tie, so hopefully when Andy comes in everyone else is stronger and then you go again.
“We’ve had a great couple of ties this year, we’ve absolutely loved it, the spirit’s still really good. We just lost a tennis match, that’s it.”
The two singles dead rubbers will be played on Sunday before France progress to September’s semi-final against Serbia.