Andrew Miller

The captain of the Great Britain B parliamentary tennis team responds to a critical account of their performance in a recent international tournament
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The Independent Online

Your report ("MPs' tennis team is in Europe and ruled by it", The Independent, 22 July), reflects journalistic spinning at its worst. "Just when British tennis thought it was safe to go back on the barley water, MPs provided further humiliation in an international tournament for parliamentarians at Wimbledon," it said.

Your report ("MPs' tennis team is in Europe and ruled by it", The Independent, 22 July), reflects journalistic spinning at its worst. "Just when British tennis thought it was safe to go back on the barley water, MPs provided further humiliation in an international tournament for parliamentarians at Wimbledon," it said.

Not only did the Great Britain parliamentary A team (with an average age of more than 55) win some of their matches, they avoided the sort of humiliation suffered recently by the Davis Cup squad. Our A team were eventually placed 14th against competition that included some very talented players.

At the risk of getting him into trouble with the Tory right, Sir Michael Spicer, MP for Worcestershire West, did not display his usual Europhobic tendencies. In fact, the only "needle" was with the Great Britain B, who set their sights on beating the A team and were placed 12th overall.

It ought to be stated that the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the Wimbledon authorities showed just how to organise a tennis tournament.

It should also be said that the way in which the LTA is now reaching out in its drive to promote tennis gives hope that we will avoid such Davis Cup embarrassment in the future. This, with better all-year-round facilities up and down the country, will help bring on our young players.

As parliamentarians, we don't have many opportunities to participate in events such as last weekend's tournament, but I venture to suggest that we could give Fleet Street's finest a run for their money on court. So Mr Editor, it's over to you - get your team organised!

Finally, congratulations to the Finland team, who deservedly won the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Cup.

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