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World number one Murray out of Davis Cup quarter-final

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Britain’s Andy Murray reacts after a point against Russia’s Andrey Rublev during their men’s singles match on day three of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 18, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN /

World number one Andy Murray has been ruled out of the British team to play France in next month’s Davis Cup quarter-final with an elbow injury, it was announced Tuesday.

The same injury forced him to pull out of the ongoing Miami Open and he will now miss the April 7-9 tie away to France in Rouen, with the absence of the three-time Grand Slam champion and double Olympic gold medallist dealing a huge blow to Britain’s hopes of reaching the last four.

“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,” said British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

“I know that he would really want to be here with the rest of the team.”

Murray, 29, was also suffering from a virus prior to flying home to London last week and was told to rest by doctors.

Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray — Andy’s older brother and a doubles specialist — and Dom Inglot will now form the British team that takes to the Kindarena indoor clay courts in the northern city of Rouen.

It is the same quartet that beat Canada in the first round in February, where Britain won the tie in extraordinary fashion when Canada’s Denis Shapovalov was defaulted for accidentally smashing a ball in anger into the eye of umpire Arnaud Gabas.

Even with Andy Murray fit, Britain would still have had a tough task in beating France, who have five men in the world’s top 25 and one of tennis’s top doubles pairs in Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

But without him, France will be huge favourites for this tie, with fresh responsibility on the shoulders of Britain’s Kyle Edmund, the world number 45.

“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,” said Smith.

“They have the strongest depth of squad by far out of any nation in the competition.”

Britain last played France on their way to winning the Davis Cup two years ago, when Andy Murray led the team to a quarter-final victory on the grasscourts of London’s Queen’s Club.

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