Andy Murray has written a heartfelt message to Scottish tennis fans after opting not to play in Great Britain’s Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan in Glasgow next week.
With the change of format meaning fewer home ties and uncertainty over his future participation in the competition, it could have been the 31-year-old’s final chance to play competitively on home soil.
Murray will instead stay in the United States for further rehabilitation on his troublesome right hip as he looks to find a way back to the top of the game.
In a long message on Instagram, Murray highlighted the many memorable moments the competition has given him, not least the four ties in 2015 in which he led Britain to the title alongside brother Jamie.
The former world No 1 said: “I just wanted to write a quick message to apologise to the British davis cup team and all the fans who are coming to watch in Glasgow and support on tv.
“I have genuinely loved competing in this Davis cup format over the course of my career and have had some of the most memorable and special moments (the lob) of my career competing for my country.
“With this possibly being my last chance to compete in Scotland as a professional I really wanted to be there with team and found this decision emotionally quite challenging.
“I had spoken to our captain, Leon, about possibly coming to just play doubles but having been recommended to take a couple of weeks off hitting to continue my reconditioning I didn’t want to just show up not ready to perform to a high enough standard and ultimately let my teammates/country down.
“If I don’t get the chance to compete in Scotland again I just want to say thank you so much to all the fans who have come along to watch and support the team over the years. You have created some incredible atmospheres for me and the team to play in and I will always remember that.
“Having been born in Glasgow and growing up in Scotland I would never have imagined I would see such passionate fans packing out stadiums for tennis matches. Playing with my Big Bro in those stadiums has been very very special.”
With Kyle Edmund missing the tie for health reasons, Britain will be represented by Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jay Clarke, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot.
Benoit Paire, meanwhile, received his first Davis Cup call-up yesterday and will be part of the France team that meets Spain in the semi-finals.
In the absence of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, who are out injured, the 56th-ranked Paire was selected by France captain Yannick Noah.
Noah said he received guarantees from the quick-tempered Paire, a talented player known for smashing his rackets, that he was “motivated” and committed to the team.
“We expect to take on a squad featuring Rafael Nadal and Pablo Carreno Busta. In that context, Benoit could be very useful,” Noah said.
Noah also called up Lucas Pouille and Richard Gasquet for the match in Lille, with Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau to play doubles.