Britain beat Davis rivals

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The Independent Online
Mark Petchey and Neil Broad beat Isaac Donkor and Frank Ofori, 6-1 6-4 6-1, to give Britain a winning 3-0 lead over Ghana in the Euro- Africa Group Two Davis Cup tie yesterday.

Tim Henman and Luke Milligan had won the two singles matches on Friday to put Britain into a commanding position and Petchey and Broad completed the victory with two singles matches still to come today.

Ghana made a late change in their doubles pairings, replacing the untried Daniel Omaboe and Tetteh Quaye with their two most experienced players, Ofori and Donkor.

However, this bid to make the scoreline more respectable was doomed to failure as Petchey, the 25-year-old from Essex, and the London-based Broad took control of the match from the start. They raced through the first set, losing only the fifth game, before Donkor and Ofori put up any sort of resistance in the second set.

The noise from the enthusiastic crowd rose in volume as games went with service to 4-4 in the second set, but Donkor then lost his service to love and Broad served out the set.

Ghana's resistance was now in effect broken and the British pair lost only the fifth game in the third set before completing their expected win.

David Lloyd, Britain's non-playing captain, was understandably delighted at his team's performance. "This could have been a very difficult tie in this sort of heat and with the crowds screaming and shouting, but the players have done everything I have asked of them," he said.

"The umpiring and line calling has been much better than we might have expected and all I can say is that my team have done a fantastic job."

Today, Henman and Milligan will go through the formality of playing the two dead singles matches. Henman is due to meet Ofori in the fourth rubber and Milligan will end the tie with a match against Donkor and should win both matches with something to spare.

Following their victory over Ghana, Britain will now meet either Egypt or the Ivory Coast at home, probably at Eastbourne, in September and the winners of this contest will be promoted to the Euro-Africa Group One.

If Britain are promoted, as Lloyd confidently expects, then their next target will be to win Group One, which would then give them a further promotion to the World Group of the top 16 nations.