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Murray misses French Davis Cup tie as Konta powers on

By Eleanor Crooks

Great Britain's hopes of reaching the Davis Cup semi-finals has suffered a major blow with confirmation that Andy Murray is ruled out of next month's last-eight clash with France through injury.

The world number one withdrew from the Miami Open because of an elbow problem and it has now been confirmed he will not be part of Britain's team in Rouen.

Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot will take on the French on indoor clay at the Kindarena from April 7 to 9.

There has yet been no official update from the Murray camp on the nature of the Scot's injury but his brother Jamie revealed at the weekend that he had a "tear" in the joint.

Murray was also suffering from a virus prior to flying home to London last week and was told to rest by doctors.

British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith said: "This is a team with significant Davis Cup experience now and these guys have all stepped up and delivered performances at the very top of the competition.

"Not having Andy in the side is obviously a big loss to our team but most importantly we all wish him well for a speedy recovery back to full health and fitness. I know that he would really want to be here with the rest of the team.

"Facing France in a Davis Cup tie is a tough test for any group of players and this Rouen quarter-final will be no exception. They have the strongest depth of squad by far out of any nation in the competition."

France captain Yannick Noah named Lucas Pouille, Gilles Simon, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in his team.

The hosts are missing the injured Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet, who is recovering from an appendix operation, as well as new father Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

But, in Pouille and Simon, they can still call on players ranked 15 and 25 respectively, while Mahut and Herbert are the reigning Wimbledon champions, although they have not been in great form this season.

Winning the match would have been a tough task for Britain even with Murray. Without him, they will go in as heavy underdogs and much will depend on world number 45 Edmund.

The 22-year-old is unusual among British players in that his favourite surface is clay and he stepped up impressively in Murray's absence from the team against Serbia last summer, winning both singles rubbers.

√Briton Johanna Konta has a tough task in front of her as she aims to make the Miami Open semi-finals.

The British number one matched her 2016 run to the quarter-finals by beating Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena 7-5 6-1 in a tricky fourth-round contest in Florida.

That set up a last-eight meeting with Romanian third seed Simona Halep, who saved a match point to beat Sam Stosur in three sets.

Roger Federer's brilliant start to 2017 continued with an impressive win over Juan Martin del Potro to set up an overnight fourth round tie against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Australian Open and Indian Wells champion, who could make an unlikely tilt at regaining world number one status later in the year, beat the Argentinian 6-4 6-4 to advance.

Belfast Telegraph

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