Tennis: Martin's bravery in vain

TODD MARTIN was sick, distracted and an emotional mess after a bout of heat exhaustion on Sunday morning, but still showed plenty of heart before going down to a five-set defeat in the match that decided the Davis Cup quarter-final between the United States and Australia.

The American, who needed intravenous fluids before going on court, gave the world No 2 Patrick Rafter a real fight before losing 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in a three-hour 13-minute hardcourt struggle that gave Australia an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the Centennial Celebration tie. Australia won the match 4-1

"I am pleased I had the courage to go out and play and play well," said Martin. "I am very disappointed that I lost."

And the US captain, Tom Gullikson, said: "He played a heroic match."

Martin led Rafter 3-0 in the final set in on-court temperatures that reached 128F before Rafter, twice winner of the US Open, rose to the occasion and broke the lanky American's serve three successive times in winning six of the last seven games to clinch the tie.

Gullikson sought to replace Martin with Pete Sampras before the match - a move that was greeted with scepticism as the Australians had suspected they would somehow have to face Sampras in singles despite his insistence he would play only doubles in the tie.

Martin, one of the most respected players on the ATP Tour, set the record straight after the match. The player said he told Gullikson he was not fit to play Sunday's match against Rafter after he felt ill following his morning warm-up at Longwood Cricket Club.

A neutral doctor, ordered in by the referee, Stefan Fransson, overruled the Americans and decided Martin was fit to play.

Rafter, who noted that Martin looked very pale when he came out for the match, said he was bothered by not knowing until the last minute who his opponent would be, but never thought the pre-match confusion was a matter of gamesmanship.

"You are not going to get a better sportsman in the world than Todd, and I have a lot of respect for Todd. I never once saw Todd trying to pull something over me," said Rafter. "But as the match got along he became more and more into it and I knew then that I was in a lot of trouble."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Multi Trade Operative

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen for a Customer ...

Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

Recruitment Genius: Fundraising Manager / Income Generation Coach

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A smart software company locate...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project