DOUBLES players are well accustomed to change - partner- swapping comes with the territory - but as he prepares for the most intensive period of the year, Colin Fleming is after consistency.

For the second time in nine months, the Scot is switching partners as he looks to lift his ranking from 84 back up towards his career-high of 17, improve his Grand Slam results and get his Davis Cup place back.

Last September, Fleming's long-time partner Ross Hutchins decided to quit the Tour, soon after his return following treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

That prompted Fleming to team up with former Wimbledon doubles champion Jonny Marray but, having failed to get the results they wanted, the pair have split and Fleming will now team up with Eric Butorac, an American best known in Scotland as Jamie Murray's some-time doubles partner.

Fleming has high hopes for the arrangement and the pair will play their first ATP World Tour event together this week in Nottingham ahead of Wimbledon.

"I feel like my ranking's been slipping down and it was time to hopefully shake things up and get back up there," said Fleming, who has known Butorac, ranked 40 in the world, for several years.

"It's a real plus for me to get someone of that ranking right now. We're playing Nottingham and Wimbledon and then hopefully Newport and Atlanta after that so let's hope we can make a good go of it.

"At Wimbledon and the US Open, I've got nothing to defend. The slams are where I need to put some decent points on. But at the same time I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, I just want to try to play free and go for it because that's the only way I'm going to have big results."

Fleming said breaking the news to Marray, a good friend, had been hard. "It's really awkward, especially as we were coming into the grass and I don't think Jonny expected it at all, to get a call from me," he said.

"But I've seen Jonny since and we're absolutely fine, it's not a personal decision. It's purely results-based. It's our careers, our livelihoods."

It's been a tough few years for Fleming, who had several offers to play with other players when Hutchins was recovering from cancer in 2013.

"At that point, I had a couple of opportunities to team up with somebody higher in the rankings but I was going to go back and play with Ross, because we were a team and he was coming back on the Tour," Fleming said. "I suppose looking back you could say it was a bit of a risk to do that, as he was obviously unranked, but we were a team. If I went back, I'd make the same decision."

Fleming missed the Australian Open at the start of the year when he became a father for the first time, to a daughter, Rose. Even with the inevitable lack of sleep, Fleming said becoming a dad has been a great experience. "I wouldn't change it for anything," he said. "It's the best thing ever.

"I'm pretty involved, changing nappies and so on. It's been quite an experience ... but it also helps as well. Sometimes I've lost matches and you go home and Rose doesn't know if you've won or lost. Or care at all. It's just like 'feed me', it's back to reality."

A good run at Wimbledon, in particular, would put Fleming back in the picture for Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final against France back at Queen's Club next month, having been left out of the first-round win over the United States.

"I was gutted to miss out but understood the reasons," he said. "I need to try to have good results and if I get picked for the Davis Cup I'll be over the moon and ready to go. As things stand I think Jamie and Dom [Inglot, who are playing together in Nottingham] would be ahead of me in the pecking order, probably rightly so, but Dom's been injured, so we'll see how his knee holds up over the rest of the grass."