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Ward and Evans battle for singles spot as Hutchins wins a different fight

James Ward and Dan Evans are vying for the second singles spot alongside Andy Murray in the Great Britain team for next week's Davis Cup quarter-final against Italy in Naples.

Ross Hutchins has made his recovery from cancer to be named as a reserve for Britain's first Davis Cup quarter-final in 28 years, but the intrigue before the April 4-6 contest now concerns whether Ward or Evans will be given the nod in the singles. Colin Fleming is poised to combine with two-time grand slam champion Murray in the doubles after being selected ahead of Dom Inglot in the squad named by captain Leon Smith, who has a decision to make in the singles. Stick with Ward, who beat Sam Querrey in San Diego in February in the 3-1 defeat of the United States. Or twist, and go with Evans, who advanced to the semi-finals of the ATP event in Zagreb the following week and helped Britain to victory over Croatia and promotion to the world group last September.

"Being part of a team is always different for us," said Ward. "You have other people to fight for as well as yourself. It's nice to fight for everyone. We're confident after winning the last match on clay.

"They're a strong team and that's probably their favourite surface so it will be tough."

Hutchins returned to action in January after recovering from Hodgkin's lymphoma. The 29-year-old's presence close to the squad should provide a welcome boost.

"It's an amazing opportunity for me," Hutchins said. "I was involved last year. I went to Croatia and to Coventry, for the Russia tie. Being back as part of the squad, hopefully we can go there and play some good stuff on the clay."

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