Murray leads GB in Davis tie

  • Last Updated: March 25 2014, 19:25 GMT

Andy Murray will lead Great Britain in the Davis Cup quarter-final with Italy in Naples next month.

Murray, Ward and Fleming played against USA
Murray, Ward and Fleming played against USA

World number six Murray is joined in the squad for Britain's first World Group quarter-final since 1986 by Dan Evans, James Ward and doubles specialist Colin Fleming, a selection which suggests Murray will play doubles.

Fleming's regular doubles partner Ross Hutchins will travel as a reserve.

Captain Leon Smith said: "We have selected our top three singles players for the squad who between them have the most Davis Cup experience which is what we need for this tie.

"Obviously we are delighted that Andy is playing, and both Dan and James have enjoyed impressive Davis Cup wins over the last few years.

"We also have strong options in doubles. Andy and Colin have enjoyed success together before, having reached the final in Montreal last August and also winning their last Davis Cup doubles rubber against Croatia in September.

"Ross Hutchins could be brought into the final four depending on what options we feel are best for the tie. Both Colin and Ross also have a lot of Davis Cup experience between them."

Murray, Ward and Fleming all took part in the stunning 3-1 defeat of the USA in San Diego in February.

Ward produced a stunning five-set victory over Sam Querrey as Britain won a World Group tie for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Evans returns to the squad after having last played in September 2013 when GB beat Croatia to win promotion to the World Group. He replaces doubles specialist Dominic Inglot in the squad.

Hutchins is back in the squad for the first time since his recovery from cancer.

The tie takes place between April 4-6 and the victors will play the winners of Switzerland v Kazakhstan in September.

Murray said: "It will be a good challenge playing on the clay in Italy. They have some very good clay court players with a passionate crowd behind them.

"It will be a tough weekend and the games will be tight, but it's great playing in big matches like this in the World Group."

Italy will be led by claycourt specialist Fabio Fognini, the world number 14. He won both his singles ties and teamed up with Simone Bolelli to win the crucial doubles match as they beat Argentina 3-1 in February.

Andreas Seppi, ranked 33, is likely to be their other singles player with Boelli and Paolo Lorenzi also in the Italian squad.

Lorenzi replaces Filippo Volandri in the only change to the team selected for the first-round match against Argentina.

Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti said: "It's a very prestigious and difficult match. We'll play on clay and we have a great chance to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals after many years.

"Britain will be a very difficult opponent but we have shown with the victorious trip to Argentina that we can handle anything.''