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Murray illness could hand chance to Fleming

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:21

Murray pulled out of the Europe/Africa Zone second-round clash after failing to shake off a virus that ended his run at last week’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

Either James Ward or Colin Fleming will replace Murray in the line-up, which also features doubles specialist Ross Hutchins and Davis Cup debutants Josh Goodall and Chris Eaton.

Goodall, the world number 196, and Eaton, ranked 390, got the nod after impressing during last week’s six-man Davis Cup play-offs at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

Dan Evans and Alex Slabinsky missed the cut altogether after failing to shine in the play-offs – which were convened after British number two Alex Bogdanovic was dropped owing to his dismal Davis Cup record – but the door is now ajar for either Ward or Fleming to complete the Great Britain line-up this weekend.

Fleming, the British number 11, is considered the favourite to replace his fellow Scot in the line-up, although Lloyd revealed he would be consulting with Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) head coach Paul Annacone before deciding who will get the nod.

“The play-offs demonstrated that these guys can handle long matches mentally and physically, so Paul Annacone and I will discuss who will replace Andy in the team and make a decision in the next couple of days,” said Lloyd.

“I now need to focus on preparing the team for the tie against Ukraine – we have five players up here who are desperate to play and they have all impressed me in the last week.

“With the support of a vocal home crowd I firmly believe that this is a very winnable match for us.”

He added: “It’s obviously disappointing that Andy is unable to play in this Davis Cup tie but our medical team has been monitoring Andy closely and don’t feel that he is in a position to compete.”

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