Sheffield’s Wimbledon champion takes on Russian doubles rivals

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SHEFFIELD tennis ace Jonny Marray will team up Scotsman Colin Fleming at next weekend’s Davis Cup tie against Russia at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

In the prestige competition, James Ward and Jamie Baker have been picked as Great Britain’s singles players in the absence of Andy Murray, who is preparing for the clay-court season.

Captain Leon Smith said: “In Jonny we have the current Wimbledon doubles champion who also went on to reach the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the end of last year. We look forward to the challenge of competing against a very strong Russian side and, with the advantage of a home crowd supporting the team, we hope we can make life as difficult as possible for the opposition.”

Ross Hutchins is unavailable as he continues to undergo cancer treatment so his regular doubles partner, Colin Fleming, will team up with Wimbledon champion.

Ward is ranked 208th with Baker a place behind, while Russia have five players in the top 100, including top-50 pair Mikhail Youzhny and Nikolay Davydenko.

Scot Baker has been dogged by injury and returns to the side for the first time since Britain beat Tunisia in Group II two years ago.

The 26-year-old, who trained with good friend Murray in Miami over the winter, qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open in January but his only match wins since then have come at the third-tier Futures level.