Tennis: Injured Bates has cause for concern

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The Independent Online
JEREMY BATES, who has shouldered the burden of being Britain's best hope at Wimbledon for the last six years, went out of the Manchester Open last night while casting doubt about his participation at the All England Club next week.

The British No 1 injured his right foot during his 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 defeat by Italy's Omar Camporese and, to compound his concern over the reverse, he finished the match operating with 'about 50 per cent of my mobility'. He will have a precautionary X-ray this morning.

The injury occurred midway through the the second set when the British No 1 got a sudden stabbing pain. 'It was a mystery,' he said. 'I'd not gone over on the ankle or anything. From then on it played on my mind. On a grass court, when you are serving and volleying, you slam your foot down all the time, and I lost the confidence to do that.'

On a less than satisfactory day for the home country, Chris Bailey also went out of the tournament, losing to Australia's Peter Rafter 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, but Mark Petchey defeated Christo Van Rensberg, who reached the semi-finals at Queen's last week, 6-0, 2-6, 7-5. The British No 2, the last home player in the event, will now meet Steve Bryan, of the United States.