Greg Rusedski starts as favourite in the Guardian Direct national championships in Telford next week. At No 43, he is 1,202 places above his first opponent, 19-year-old Colin Bennett of Ross-on-Wye, in the world rankings. Rusedski is scheduled for a semi-final against Mark Petchey, who beat him in the Stella Artois tournament. Jeremy Bates, chasing a seventh national title and the fourth in succession, will start against Nick Weal of Hampshire and is seeded to meet Tim Henman in the semi-finals. Brighton's Clare Wood will begin her quest for a third women's title against Banbury's Claire Taylor, while Lizzie Jelfs, the second seed, starts against Jane Wood of Enfield.