London: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will lead a four-man team when Great Britain compete in their first Davis Cup quarter-final for 28 years, away to Italy in Naples next week. Joining Murray in the British quartet will be Dan Evans, Colin Fleming and James Ward while Ross Hutchins, who recently recovered from cancer, is the reserve.
The winner of the tie will play either Kazakhstan or Switzerland in the Davis Cup semi-finals in September. Murray, Ward and Fleming all featured in the 3-1 defeat of the United States in February. "It will be a good challenge playing on the clay in Italy," Murray, who recently split with coach Ivan Lendl, told the Lawn Tennis Association website on Tuesday.
"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," the Scot added.
British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith, explaining the composition of the team, 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."