Smith philosophical after GB defeat
Originally published on 10/04/17 00:00
With world No.1 Andy Murray skipping the tie with an elbow injury, the visitors failed to make the semi-finals for the first time in three years.
However, Smith, who took over the captaincy in April 2010 when Britain were on the verge of a humiliating relegation to the fourth tier of the competition, was philosophical in defeat.
"It's always really disappointing to lose because we've got used to going a little bit deeper into the year,” said Smith. "But we played against a very good team and we've still maintained our World Group status, which is important for us.
"A quarter-final, a win, a semi-final, a quarter-final – in decades previous you weren't getting that. It's a damn sight better than it used to be but there's still work to be done."
Straight sets defeats for Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans on the opening day left Britain with a mountain to climb, and Yannick Noah’s team sealed the win when Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut beat Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray in the doubles.
"Do we lack depth? Yes, of course we lack depth – that's pretty obvious," said Smith, who has relied heavily on Andy Murray in recent years. "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."
— Leon Smith (@LeonSmith) April 9, 2017