'Bitter' Wilkinson is left out

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The Independent Online
David Lloyd, Britain's new Davis Cup captain, overlooked Chris Wilkinson in naming a squad of 10 contenders for his first Davis Cup tie yesterday, and suggested that the "bitter" Southampton player be "cut off" from the Lawn Tennis Association's system, writes John Roberts.

Wilkinson had expressed disappointment at being left out of the team which lost in the Slovak Republic in April. He also indicated that he was not inclined to play for his country after the recruitment of a "mercenary", the Canadian-born Greg Rusedski.

"Chris said if I picked him, how would I know if he was going to try," Lloyd said. "I'm disappointed with his attitude. Instead of fighting, he's running away from a challenge.

"He said he was bitter. He was very bitter about someone coming in to take his living. I said to him he couldn't expect anything back from the LTA.

"I think he will find it difficult to get wild cards and training facilities. If they asked me, I would recommend that he is cut off from the system. You can't expect to take in one hand and not give with the other."

In Lloyd's opinion, Mark Petchey channelled his frustration positively on the court, beating Rusedski in the first round of the Stella Artois Championships on Tuesday. "Petchey did it the right way," he said. "There was huge pressure on him, and he came through.

"Wilkinson's attitude is the kind that has been a problem in the past for British tennis. It's sad, because he's a nice lad. But it's more sad for him than it is for British tennis."

GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD (Davis Cup v Monaco, Eastbourne, 14-16 July): G Rusedksi, M Petchey, T Henman, R Matheson, D Sapsford, G Henderson, M Maclagan, B Cowan, A Richardson, N Broad.

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