Advantage Rusedski in choice of clay court

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The Independent Online

Ukraine were hoping that their choice of a clay court venue here on the Black Sea coast would provide their team with a major advantage for this weekend's Davis Cup tie against Britain. Greg Rusedski, however, is feeling quite at home as he prepares for possibly his last competitive appearance.

Not only is the 33-year-old veteran of 18 Davis Cup ties proud of his roots - his parents are both of Ukrainian descent - but he has also found the courts here much to his liking.

"The clay is a lot less taxing than hard courts because you can slide into the ball," he said yesterday. "The surface is pretty quick and the courts are quite slippery, so you can play an attacking game, which suits me."

Rusedski has seen his world ranking fall 99 places to No 136 after an injury-plagued year.

He admitted he was, "getting a lot closer to a decision to hang up my rackets" and confirmed that he would definitely not play a full year in 2007, but the draw of the Davis Cup remains strong.

Rusedski and his team-mates, Andy Murray, Jamie Baker and Jamie Delgado, need to win this weekend to avoid relegation into Group Two of the Europe-Africa zone, effectively the Davis Cup's third division.