Tennis: Britain host India in Davis Cup decider

GREG RUSEDSKI and Tim Henman will fancy their prospects of winning a place for Britain in the 16-strong Davis Cup World Group after being drawn at home against India in the qualifying round from 25-27 September. The tie is likely to be played on grass at either Eastbourne or Nottingham.

Home advantage is guaranteed, since Britain's last match against India, a 4-1 defeat in the 1992 World Group qualifying round, was played in New Delhi. Jeremy Bates, Neil Broad, Mark Petchey and Chris Wilkinson travelled to India, Britain having lost to France, the holders, in the first round of the World Group in Bayonne.

The sequence of defeats extended to six, culminating in demotion to Group Two of the Euro-African Zone in 1995, Britain's lowest position. The advent of Rusedski and Henman has improved the situation so dramatically that Britain's captain, David Lloyd, has spoken of the nation winning the trophy for the first time since 1936, the end of the Fred Perry era.

"This is no ordinary tie and it is essential that we win," Lloyd said. "Playing in the World Group is as different as playing football in the Premiership rather than the Football League."

Although world rankings tend to be counterbalanced by national pride in Davis Cup matches, Rusedski (No 5) and Henman (No 15) would appear to have a distinctly sharper edge than the Indians. The squad defeated by Italy on clay in Genoa last weekend comprised Leander Paes (No 130), Mahesh Bhupathi (No 247), Srinath Prahlad (No 571) and Fazaluddin Syed (No 807).

The semi-retired Boris Becker has spoken of returning to play at Wimbledon, where he made an emotional farewell to Grand Slam tennis last year. "There is a 99 per cent chance that I will not [play Wimbledon again]." Becker said. "That leaves one per cent..."

Becker, currently in charge of Germany's Davis Cup team, has had second thoughts following the 30-year-old Petr Korda's triumph at the Australian Open in January.

The holders, France, have dropped thir leading player, Mary Pierce, for the Fed Cup first round against Belgium in Ghent next weekend. Pierce, ranked No 7 in world, is playing on the US clay court circuit after overcoming shoulder problems to win the Paris Open in February. However, the French team captain, Yannick Noah, believes Pierce, will not have enough time to adapt to a faster surface.

DAVIS CUP World Group Qualifying Round (home nations named first, *denotes seeds): *Australia v Uzbekistan; *Brazil v Romania; *Czech Republic v South Africa; Israel v *France; *Great Britain v India; *Netherlands v Ecuador; Japan v *Russia; Argentina v *Slovak Republic. (matches to be played 25 to 27 September).

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Deputy Education Manager

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager (permanent ...

Science Teacher Urgently required for October start

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...

ICT Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Art & Design Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering