Tennis: Britain's misery complete

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The Independent Online
INDIA put Great Britain out of their Davis Cup misery and back among the also-rans of world tennis as they completed a 4-1 victory in their World Group qualifying round tie in New Delhi yesterday.

Apart from a morale-shattering defeat - their first by India in three meetings - which unceremoniously brings Tony Pickard's honeymoon period as captain to an end, the team leave India with accusations from their hosts of being poor losers.

Jeremy Bates, the British No 1, took the brunt of the criticism, having said the crowd were the worst he had ever seen as well as refusing to give Leander Paes any credit for defeating him in the crucial opening rubber on Friday.

Bates missed his chance to atone for this performance when he pulled out of Saturday's doubles with a stomach injury. The makeshift pairing of Neil Broad and Mark Petchey were not up to the task and were beaten by Paes and Ramesh Krishnan 6-4, 3-6,

6-3, 6-1 to give India an unassailable 3-0 lead.

The final day's reverse singles were thus rendered academic, although Chris Wilkinson achieved a consolation 6-3, 6-1 victory over Gaurav Natekar, who was making his Cup debut. However, it was left to Paes, the rising young star of the Indian team, to end the proceedings with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Petchey in 97 minutes, his third win of the contest.

John McEnroe, who made his Davis Cup debut 14 years ago, inspired the United States to victory over Sweden in the semi-final in Minneapolis. McEnroe, partnering Pete Sampras in doubles for the first time, earned his 58th victory when they beat Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd 6-1, 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to give his country a 3-0 lead.

The United States now meet Switzerland in December's final after Marc Rosset and Jakob Hlasek steered the Swiss into their first final following a 5-0 whitewash over Brazil in Geneva.