Edberg veto for Davis Cup tie in India

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Stefan Edberg, the former Wimbledon champion, will not play for Sweden in their Davis Cup quarter-final match in India because he is afraid of falling prey to a subcontinental illness, a Stockholm newspaper has reported.

"I dare not go, I'm simply scared of catching some serious disease," Edberg told the daily Svenska Dagbladet. Despite his tumble down the world rankings to 33, Edberg's experience will be sorely missed, especially as the tie, at the beginning of April, is on grass, a surface upon which he excels.

"Although I've heard that things have improved, there is still a risk going there. It is possible I'm being too cautious but I don't want to risk it," Edberg told the newspaper.

All three British representatives in the ATP Challenger event in Cherbourg, France, have been beaten in the first round after Jeremy Bates and Chris Wilkinson yesterday joined Tim Henman in making an early exit. Henman, who has shot up the world rankings in the last six months, had earlier been beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Italy's Omar Camporese. Bates lost 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 to Hicham Arazi of Morocco, while Wilkinson was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 by another Italian, Nicola Bruno.