By Steve Carpenter Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 04/02 10:27
BRITAIN's top tennis stars will be sent to Coventry after the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) confirmed that the prestigious Davis Cup tie between Great Britain and Russia will take place at the Ricoh Arena.
The Europe/Africa Zone Group I second round tie will take place from April 5-7 with the winners going through to compete in the 16-nation World Group Play-offs in September.
The LTA had been in talks about hosting the three-day event in Glasgow but tournament director, Gavin Fletcher, said he was delighted to be able to bring the popular event back to the Midlands.
He said: "Both the city of Coventry and the team at the Ricoh Arena have made us very welcome.
"It’ll be great bringing the Davis Cup back to the Midlands, where we’ve enjoyed tremendous support in the past.
"I know the team is looking forward to playing in front of a very vocal crowd against Russia."
Councillor Phil Townshend, the city council's sporting chief, said it was good news for the city just six months after hosting Olympic Football last summer.
"We have a national reputation for delivering successful events and this will be another high profile one which will attract local residents and people from a wider area who love Tennis.
"To host sporting events such as this also sits well alongside our stated aim of building on the legacy from being a co-host city for London 2012 as well as encouraging people to take part in sport and physical activity."
Although the full GB Davis Cup team selections haven’t been announced yet, British Number One and World Number three Andy Murray will not be competing in the upcoming tie as he prepares for the French Open at Roland Garros in May.
But team captain, Leon Smith, is confident GB can perform well in Coventry.
"We totally understand Andy’s position," he added. "He has worked extremely hard on his game elevating it to another level and we have all seen the fruits of that since Wimbledon.
"Andy’s success continues to inspire more and more young people to take up the sport and we look forward to welcoming him back into the team in September.”
"We are very excited to be taking Davis Cup to Coventry and taking advantage of strong home support.
"It will be tough against Russia, who are arguably the strongest team in our group, but we'll be giving it our best shot."
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