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Britain and France prepare for Davis Cup quarter-final

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 03:39 GMT, Jul 16, 2015 |
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Andy Murray said on Wednesday (July 15) that he was ready to represent Great Britain in their Davis Cup quarter-final against France this weekend, while Richard Gasquet says he is looking forward to getting back on the grass court after his Wimbledon semi-final defeat. Great Britain and France are set to face each other at London’s Queens Club from July 17-19, the first time the two nations have met in the competition since 1992.

Murray was defeated in three elegantly brutal sets, 7-5 7-5 6-4, by Roger Federer in their Wimbledon semi-final earlier this month and said he needed to take a break in order to recuperate. “You know, I had to take days off after Wimbledon to have a chance to compete well here. Obviously, ideally I would have started practising probably Monday and practicing hard from Monday but I needed a few days after the last few months,” Murray told reporters at a news conference at Queen’s Club.

“You can’t just… when you walk off the court the next day it’s not like I don’t feel like you immediately learn stuff from the match there. You have to look at the match and see what’s happened and analyse it a little bit and also look at the tournament as a whole and Queen’s as well and think about those things and see what I can do better in the future. But it doesn’t take one day; there’s a lot of preparation goes into those events and you need to take the time when you are finished in them to analyse what’s gone right and wrong and things that you can do to improve in the future,” he added.

Great Britain’s captain Leon Smith told reporters that he felt the match was too close to call. “If you go on paper then of course the doubles becomes the obvious one but you just can’t do that; every match is too difficult. Everyone’s got a chance. Obviously not naive enough to think about how tough the matches are for everybody that’s playing but everyone’s playing well.

I mean the whole team, both teams are playing well and inDavis Cup we’ve seen before that things can happen; you can upset rankings,” said Smith, adding “It’s very different playing for your country than it is as an individual and some players do that better than others and we’ve just got to hope on the day that we can find somehow we can get three points on the board. I’m sure we can but it’s going to be very, very difficult.”

Britain were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Davis Cup in 2014 and are coming up against last year’s beaten finalists, but Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said his team will be taking the threat posed by the home side seriously. “Andy (Murray) is the good guy to bring all the other guys at the good level and today they have a great team. He’s got his brother, there’s him, he’s got James Ward and few other guys and they play good tennis; they play at home so for sure they will be a good team,” said the world number 12.

Tsonga’s teammate Richard Gasquet also tasted semi-final defeat at Wimbledon last week, losing to the eventual winner Novak Djokovic in an emphatic 7-6(2) 6-4 6-4 defeat. “I am feeling great. I like to play on grass, I played well (at Wimbledon) so of course I’m in great shape now and I will be ready for the weekend so I don’t need to play so much but I just need to be fit for the match if I have to play,” said Gasquet.