We're set for an exciting 2020 - Smith

Leon Smith says British tennis is in a really positive place after a run to the final four at the Davis Cup Finals.

Despite Kyle Edmund’s defining display to take the opening rubber, Britain were outlasted 2-1 by hosts Spain as a partisan 12,500 crowd took hold in Madrid.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski were beaten 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8) in a highly-charged doubles decider, with world number one Rafael Nadal on song alongside Feliciano Lopez.

But with Edmund unbeaten in singles all week, a new format capturing imaginations and 1,000 British fans making the trip to back their boys, captain Smith emerged encouraged.

“I look forward to a really positive 2020,” Smith said.

“Everyone’s got their different journey to go on, but I think we should be excited by what we have in British tennis.

“We’ve got so many different things going. I think it’s great, it’s positive.

“Hopefully everyone can just keep on that path and we come back here next year with an even stronger team than the strong team we have already got.”

The 2015 winners have reached the semi-finals in three of the last five years and can reflect on vast improvement a year on from losing 3-1 to Spain in Marbella in the first round.

Murray and Skupski, claiming victory in deciding rubbers against Netherlands and Kazakhstan earlier this week, fell to defeat and Dan Evans was defiant despite a straight-sets singles loss to Nadal.

Earlier, Edmund needed just 81 minutes to beat Lopez 6-3 7-6 and get his country off to a perfect start.

The 24-year-old silenced the home crowd with a clinical performance, laced with nine aces and 19 forehand winners, showing further signs of top form.

“There was just a lot of noise from the crowd, they all came to support Feli so I just had to be really, really focused and concentrate on myself and I got off to a great start,” he said.

“As I said throughout this week my tennis hasn’t been the problem but when you come in different situations it can sometimes do funny things, so I just concentrated on my game, kept believing in my game, kept going after my strokes.

“And to get off to that start and then just sort of control my way through and played a very good breaker at the end, it was a very good performance from myself.”

Sportsbeat 2019