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COLIN FLEMING EYES SHOT AT POSITION ON BRITISH DAVIS CUP TEAM
By Stuart Fraser
21st February 2009
WEB LINK: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/tennis-news/2009/02/21/colin-fleming-eyes-shot-at-position-on-british-davis-cup-team-86908-21140711/
COLIN FLEMING will chase a Davis Cup dream when he joins a shootout for a place on the British team.
The Broxburn-born Scottish No.3 was named by captain John Lloyd as one of six candidates for a singles slot beside Andy Murray for next month's Euro-Africa Zone Group One tie with Ukraine at Braehead.
And with his mate Jamie Murray having been ditched from the doubles by Lloyd, Fleming would love to give the Scottish crowd a second local hero to cheer at the clash from March 6-8.
The play-offs start on Monday and will see Fleming, Josh Goodall, Alex Slabinsky, James Ward, Dan Evans and Chris Eaton play three five-set matches at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, with the two strongest performers earning a place in the squad.
Fleming has previously been involved in the Davis Cup. He was a hitting partner for the squad that lined up against Serbia & Montenegro at Braehead in April 2006.
But this time the 24-year-old wants to go one step further. Fleming said: "I love playing in Scotland, whether it be in Davis Cup or in the Glasgow Futures event.
“It would be nice if I could have a good week to force myself into the team and maybe even play a live rubber in Scotland.
“That would be a dream come true.”
The play-off is a huge opportunity for Fleming to cap a remarkable comeback to the professional tennis circuit.
Since last August, he has risen from nowhere to a ranking of No.586 in the world after a gap of two years in which he completed his studies.
The Scot, who trains at the University of Stirling, admitted that even he has been surprised at his rate of progress.
He said: “I didn't think it would happen so quickly. I've made a comeback because I believe I can get involved in things like the Davis Cup and play in the top-level tournaments.
“But I have been pleasantly surprised by how quickly I have been able to get myself into the frame.”
World No.4 Murray was the obvious first choice on Lloyd's team sheet but the skipper made a major decision when he decided to opt for one doubles specialist - Ross Hutchins - which meant dropping Fleming's friend and former doubles partner Jamie.
Fleming said: “Jamie is a good friend so I would like to see him do well and I know he will be disappointed not to be involved.
“But I have to concentrate on what I am doing. Jamie will do the same and look after his game and I am sure he will get back into the team in the future and play a valuable role.”