Henman and Rusedski lift British stock

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The Independent Online
British men's tennis reached its highest point for nearly 18 years yesterday with Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski both ranked in the world's top 50 in the latest ATP list.

Not since December 1978, when Buster Mottram was ranked 28 and John Lloyd 37, has Britain had two men ranked in the top 50 at the same time.

Earlier this year Rusedski reached a ranking high of 33, but at that time Henman had only just broken into the top 100. Then, as Henman, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon and in the last 16 at the US Open this summer, rocketed up the rankings to 25, Rusedski's form slumped as he slipped to 84.

However, since that low point, Rusedski has been a semi-finalist in Singapore, won the Peking Open and was a quarter-finalist in the Stockholm Open. Ironically, Henman's recent form has been poor as he has been beaten in the first round in his last three tournaments: in Paris, Stuttgart and Moscow.

Henman is now at 27, while Rusedski, who was ranked 53 last week, has moved up to 48. Britain's top two will take time off from chasing ranking points when they compete in the National Championships, which begin at Telford today.

The former British No 1, Jeremy Bates, is to take over from David Felgate as the manager of men's national training at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Bates, who was Britain's leading player for nearly a decade, retired from active play after Wimbledon this year. He said: "I have been involved with British tennis for so long and I still wanted to be involved."

Bates, who will take up his new post on 1 January, will oversee the training and development of Britain's senior players and will also be responsible for the appointment and management of coaches. He will also play on the seniors tour.

Felgate is to work almost full-time with Henman on the ATP Tour from January, but he will also be available to the LTA in assisting coaches with the development of juniors.