But it was confirmed last night that Andy Murray will end his self-enforced exile from Davis Cup action when he returns to the Great Britain side which will take on Luxembourg at Braehead Arena next month. Leon Smith, the Scot’s first coach, has persuaded the world No.4 to return to the team competition for the first time since September 2009.
The Europe/Africa Zone Group II tie, which takes place on the weekend of July 8 to 10, will represent the second time Murray has taken part in the Davis Cup on home soil, having lost in the doubles alongside Greg Rusedski against Serbia at Braehead in 2006.
“It should be a fantastic atmosphere for the tie, and I’m hoping everyone back home gets behind the team,” said Andy. “There will be a few decent matches and I’m looking forward to playing.”
Davis Cup captain Smith, a Scot himself, yesterday named a four-man team containing three of his fellow countrymen. Andy is joined by a potential doubles team in the form of his brother Jamie and Colin Fleming, with James Ward, who made it to the semi-finals of the AEGON championships at Queen’s Club recently, likely to get the nod for the second singles rubber.
Luxembourg can boast the talents of Gilles Muller, the world No.93, who took Rafael Nadal to a first and second set tie-break at this year’s Wimbledon before eventually going down 7-6, 7-6, 6-0.
“We’re obviously very excited to have Andy in the team for the tie,” said Smith. “Any team in the world would love to have someone of his calibre and it is great for fans at the Braehead Arena to get the chance to see one of the world’s best players live. James Ward had a great run at the AEGON Championships, reaching the semi-finals and so he’s coming into the tie with a lot of confidence. He played a key role in the last two Davis Cup wins.
“With Colin and Jamie, we have two doubles players who are well established on the tour. They both have great experience playing at the highest level which will stand us in good stead in this tie.”
Play is scheduled to start at 4pm on Friday, 2pm for the doubles on the Saturday, and 1pm on Sunday and Smith’s biggest decision may be who to field in the doubles. Andy Murray, of course, could feature on all three days. “It’s always a huge honour to be chosen to represent Great Britain,” said his brother, Jamie. “To be able to play in front of a home crowd is going to be really exciting.”
Further illustration of Fleming’s part in that equation arrived in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon yesterday. The 26-year-old from Linlithgow and partner Ross Hutchins sailed into the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over the Australian pairing Ashley Fisher and Stephen Huss.
They now meet Germany’s Christopher Kas and Alexander Paya, of Austria, in a competition where no all-British team has reached the final since Michael Davis and Robert Wilson lost to Rafael Osuna and Richard Ralston in 1960.
“Going back to play at the Braehead Arena will be extra special for me as it is where I made my debut,” said Fleming. “We have all known each other since we were about 10 years old. I remember Andy’s mum, Judy, missing a turn on the motorway, reversing back half a mile up the hard shoulder and managing to get pulled over by the police.
“We didn’t know what was happening. We have loads of good memories and it is great that we are all still friends and still playing.”
This is one Team GB that the Scottish public should have no problems getting behind.
n The AEGON GB Davis Cup team will play Luxembourg at the Braehead Arena from July 8 to 10. Tickets are still available. Call 0844 499 1700 to book tickets or visit
www.lta.org.uk/daviscup for more information
interview Andy Murray set to rejoin Jamie in Davis Cup team at Braehead, writes Stewart Fisher