Fed Cup coach Colin Fleming believes the British team can inspire the next generation of female players
Barry Millns and Barry Cowan commentated together for Sky Sports for 17 years and are now fronting a brand new tennis podcast. This week Fed Cup coach Colin Fleming is the guest.
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 05/02/19 8:43pm
This week's Tennis Takeaway with Barry Millns and Barry Cowan includes an interview with former Davis Cup player and current Fed Cup coach Colin Fleming ahead of Great Britain's first home tie for 26 years.
The side have played in 15 different countries since their last home match in Nottingham in May 1993, but Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong will lead the women in front of a sell-out crowd at the University of Bath when they host an eight-team Europe/Africa round-robin event.
Great Britain are in Group A with Slovenia, Hungary and Greece with British No 1 Johanna Konta joined by Heather Watson, 19-year-old Katie Swan and Katie Boulter while Harriet Dart will make her Fed Cup debut.
Group B features Serbia, Georgia, Turkey and Croatia, and there is little recovery time between ties, which consist of two singles and a doubles match, spread over three days, with the eventual group winners facing each other in the hope of securing a shot at April's World Group II play-offs.
Former ATP top-20 doubles player Fleming has been given a positive welcome after stepping into the breach when Nick Cavaday withdrew at the last minute after feeling he would be overstretched having already taken up the role of the new National Academy programme at Loughborough University.
"It's been great. All the players have been open to me joining the set up," said Fleming, who stepped down as Scotland's national tennis coach in September. "I'm honoured to have joined up and to help Anne Keothavong, to support the doubles teams we're putting out there.
"When I was a player I absolutely loved being part of the Davis Cup, they were highlights for me. I absolutely thrived on team environments and team set-ups and I like to think that I bring a strong energy and positivity to that environment so it was a no-brainer for me to join up with the Fed Cup team and help with them to try and succeed.
"The key thing is people, it's relationships, it's communication, it's working with the team to do whatever I can. If it means picking up cones, then I'm happy to do it.
"You've got to give credit to the LTA for stepping up and hosting the event. What an event it's going to be as well. It sold out very quickly with great interest in tennis in Britain and excitement around the Fed Cup team."
Tennis broadcasters Barry Cowan and Barry Millns interview major figures in the sport, plus other high profile tennis fans! Click on the link below to listen to this week's episode.
Fleming also discusses the highs and lows of being involved in Great Britain's Davis Cup team, while he feels the competition will be "lost" under the new format with the lack of opportunity to play home ties in the future.
He also comments on the spat between Jamie Murray and Dan Evans after the Scot labelled his Davis Cup team-mate "ill-informed and dumb" regarding the profile of doubles within the British game.
Did you know...
Great Britain are aiming to win promotion back up to the World Group II after coming up short in both 2012 and 2013, as well as 2017 and then against Japan last year, having at one stage led the tie 2-1.
But the excitement surrounding the Fed Cup in Bath has Fleming relishing the opportunity of helping Great Britain to glory.
He added: "You can expect a phenomenal atmosphere, you can expect a British team that is so passionate, so fired up to do well and inspire a nation of female tennis players. It's going to be a really exciting event of top tennis and I can't wait to be a part of it."
The 2 Barry's Tennis Takeaway Podcast is widely available on different platforms and supported by their website The2barrys.com where visitors can catch up with any feature interviews they might have missed or want to hear again. You can also follow them on Twitter @the2barrys