Davis Cup: LTA expresses concern over court for GB-Italy tie

By Russell FullerBBC tennis correspondent
Andy Murray
British number one Andy Murray was unhappy with the state of the clay court

The Lawn Tennis Association has expressed concern over the state of the court used to stage Great Britain's Davis Cup tie with Italy in April.

In a letter to the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the LTA claimed the temporary clay court in Naples posed a risk of serious injury.

Great Britain, who included Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, lost the tie 3-2 to miss out on a semi-final place.

The ITF has insisted it takes player safety "extremely seriously".

During the tie, players took divots out of the surface and at one point an attempt to remove covers spilt water on to the court.

Andy Murray loses to Fabio Fognini at Davis Cup

The LTA's letter to the federation, signed by chief executive Michael Downey, quoted British number one Andy Murray and Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

In the letter, the LTA stressed its primary concern was safety and felt the court would not have been passed fit for a tournament on the ATP tour.

That view was expressed by Murray midway through the tie.

"It is dangerous," he told BBC Sport. "That back corner is not good enough. If this was on the Tour they would not be using this court."

An area of the court was flooded when the covers were removed after heavy rain on the first morning of the tie.

Ground staff failed to sweep the standing water away before removing the covers and that section never recovered.

The LTA was also unhappy that no floodlights were installed for the tie, meaning Murray had to complete his Friday match on Saturday morning - just hours before he was due to play the doubles rubber.

An ITF spokesman said: "It was the view of the tie referee that these requirements were met by the Italian Tennis Federation and that despite the condition of the court after the rainfall, the court was not unsafe.

"Floodlights are not a compulsory requirement and indeed many ATP and WTA events do not have floodlights.

"Any other issues raised at the tie will be discussed as part of ongoing discussions by the Davis Cup Committee."