Tennis: Jonny sets British target of World Group

Great Britain's Jonny Marray (left) and Colin Fleming celebrate victory after the Davis Cup match. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Great Britain's Jonny Marray (left) and Colin Fleming celebrate victory after the Davis Cup match. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
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Jonny Marray has set a goal of helping Great Britain back into the World Group of Davis Cup tennis beating Russia this weekend.

Marray, the Wimbledon doubles champion from Sheffield, teamed up with Scotland’s Colin Fleming to get Britain’s first point of the tie on Saturday afternoon before watching Dan Evans and James Ward complete the comeback from 2-0 down yesterday.

The victory means Britain are through to a play-off for a place in next season’s elite World Group.

Andy Murray, the world No2 has already said he’ll play in the match, which will take place in September against an opponent to be known after the draw on Wednesday.

After Evans and Ward lost both singles rubbers on Friday, Marray and Fleming produced a ruthless exhibition of doubles play on Saturday. The pair beat Igor Kunitsyn and Victor Baluda 6-1 6-4 6-2 in the third rubber of the Euro/Africa Group One tie at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

Marray told The Star: “The aim now is to get back into the World Group. Having Andy (Murray) in the team will be great because he can win two matches against any country in the world.

“But what James (Ward) and Evo (Dan Evans) did this weekend shows we have more depth than people think.

“The whole time we have been together it has been first class. The preparation, the attention to detail, everything. It was a really proud moment representing my country.

“It’s not just like walking out for a normal event, there’s a totally different feel. It meant a huge amount to me, particularly hearing the National Anthem before we played.”

Marray and Fleming needed less than 90 minutes to win their match on Saturday.

Yesterday Ward, ranked 214 to Dmitry Tursunov’s 67, recovered from two sets to one down to win 6-4 5-7 5-7 6-4 6-4 and send the tie into a decisive rubber. Evans, ranked 325, needed only three sets, dominating world number 80 Evgeny Donskoy virtually from the off and clinching a quite remarkable 6-4 6-4 6-1 victory inside two hours.

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