LEON Smith insisted last night that he is sure Andy Murray will be welcomed back with open arms if he makes himself available to play the re-formatted Davis Cup finals in Madrid in November. The former World No 1 is out in China right now, embarking upon the next phase of his remarkable comeback from the hip resurfacing surgery he underwent in January, and which at one point seemed capable of ending his career.

While he used his protected ranking of No 2 to enter the all-new ATP Cup in Australia in January, the Scot’s singles ranking has dropped out of the top 400, while the likes of Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Cam Norrie are still housed in the list of the world’s top 100 players.

Having claimed the Queen’s Club title on his comeback with Feliciano Lopez, there is also an option to include Andy primarily as a doubles player, presumably in the company of his brother Jamie, although Jamie’s doubles partner Neal Skupski and the emerging Joe Salisbury are other options.

His former coach Smith, at Barnton Park tennis club in Edinburgh yesterday to open a new padel tennis court, said that there had been “positive conversations” with the younger Murray brother about participating in the 24-team global finals, which see Great Britain in a group with Kazakhstan and Netherlands. No-one can argue he hasn’t displayed his commitment to the team in the past.

“As Andy has said publicly, we have had positive conversations,” said Smith. “He is keen to be part of it but the important thing from his point of view is that he concentrates on the Asia swing where he has three events, plus two back in Europe. Everyone right now thinks about Andy in the doubles and that is right at the moment, but hopefully he starts to build up the bank of singles matches, so the singles can become a conversation for him as well.

“He has been amazing over the years,” said Smith. “Of course, he is someone who thrives under pressure, and enjoys the team element. But whether it is Davis Cup or the ATP cup event, it has always been about what is best for the team and I think that is a really good quality he has.

“Of course, that means he wants to play but if someone else deserves to play over him, that is what is best for the team,” he added. “It is great we have four, five, six weeks of tournaments to play before picking the team. You can take five players, but you obviously only do that mainly for back up. Because a lot of teams will only use two players.”

As it happens, which operates on a largely similar basis to the new Davis Cup, has a vacancy for an on-court coaching role. Smith hasn’t heard anything yet as to whether he might have some involvement with the GB squad.“There is on-court coaching but I don’t have any involvement at the moment,” he said. “I am maybe one of the options but it is not as straightforward as that, so we will wait and see in the next few weeks.”

Smith is happy to be associated with padel tennis, a form of the sport which has taken a hold on the continent and is growing in the UK. “I first encountered padel tennis training and travelling around Spain with Andy when he was a teenager,” he said. “Dani Vallverdu, his former coach, used to play in those tournaments and I would be the weak link.”

“That was 15, 16 years ago but I think about six million people play it in Spain, which shows you the popularity of it. People play it in France and beyond, and it is growing in popularity here now too. When you have facilities like this, people come into that environment, pick up some confidence with a bat and a ball, then transfer to tennis, which is more difficult as a start-up sport.”