John Lloyd, Britain's Davis Cup captain, was bracing himself last night for an anxious few days after Andy Murray cast doubt on his availability for next week's tie against Ukraine in Glasgow by withdrawing from the Dubai Championships. The British No 1, who pulled out before he was due to play Richard Gasquet here in the quarter-finals, has a virus that has been troubling him ever since last month's Australian Open.
Murray has also been struggling with an ankle injury he sustained in Rotterdam a fortnight ago, but the virus is now his main concern. He has been suffering with a sore throat, aching limbs and temperature ever since beating Marcel Granollers in Melbourne five weeks ago.
Nevertheless Murray has won in Rotterdam and looked in good shape against Arnaud Clement on Wednesday. "I got some anti-virals from the doctor yesterday evening, but it didn't help so much," he said. "I had some breakfast and then slept for three hours. When I woke up I wasn't feeling good."
As for the tie at the Braehead Arena, which begins next Friday, Murray said: "I obviously want to try and play. I'll see how I feel and I'll give it my best shot to get ready. The doctor says I need a week or 10 days to start feeling better again."
Although Lloyd admitted that Murray's illness was "not good news", he added: "I think he really wants to play in this one." Lloyd has named Murray and Ross Hutchins, a doubles specialist, and has been overseeing a six-man play-off in Roehampton which finishes today and will decide the other two places. Josh Goodall and Chris Eaton, who have won their first two matches in Roehampton, meet today.
In Dubai Gasquet will now play David Ferrer in today's semi-finals, while Novak Djokovic faces Gilles Simon.