Bogdanovic defeat puts Rusedski on the spot

Jeremy Bates must decide this morning whether to face the 31-year-old Greg Rusedski with the prospect of having to play three matches in three days or show faith in his Davis Cup greenhorns for the doubles.

Jeremy Bates must decide this morning whether to face the 31-year-old Greg Rusedski with the prospect of having to play three matches in three days or show faith in his Davis Cup greenhorns for the doubles.

The British captain may have to rethink his team strategy after the disappointment of Alex Bogdanovic's display yesterday as a singles replacement for Tim Henman, who has retired from the competition.

Although Bogdanovic's defeat by Noam Okun, the Israeli No 1, tied the opening day's singles at 1-1, the way the match unfolded - particularly the way Bogdanovic folded after the most promising of starts in the first set - raised doubts about the British No 2's confidence if asked to play a deciding fifth rubber in tomorrow's reverse singles.

The 20-year-old Bogdanovic put on a brave face after falling to Okun, 7-6, 6-2, 6-2, and said: "I'm ready to play. It's up to the captain. We don't know what's up next in the doubles or the singles. It could only get better for me from here. After all, this was only my second live rubber."

At the outset of this Europe-Africa Zone tie, which will bring the winners the opportunity of a play-off for the World Group, Israel were relying on winning the doubles with their experienced and successful duo, Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, and hoping to glean as much as possible from the singles.

The pressure has switched to the British camp as Bates ponders the wisdom of entrusting the doubles to the 17-year-old, Andrew Murray, and the 24-year-old, David Sherwood, neither of whom have played in the Davis Cup before.

Bates will have to balance the gamble of partnering Rusedski with one of the new boys against the risk of draining his top man ahead of tomorrow's opening singles match against Okun.

Rusedski gave Britain a splendid start, defeating Harel Levy, the Israeli No 2, after an hour and 29 minutes, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.

So the platform was there for Bogdanovic to make a name for himself against Okun, who stands only 20 places above him, at 153, in the world rankings. Bogdanovic then stepped on court and raised optimism by winning the opening three games and going on to lead 5-2. Moreover, Bogdanovic held two set points after Okun double-faulted to 15-40 in the eighth game.

Although Okun saved those opportunities, Bogdanovic netting forehands on both points, the Briton created two more set points while serving for the set at 5-3, 40-15. A shout from the crowd may have put Bogdanovic off as he netted another forehand on the third set point, and a solid return by Okun took care of the fourth. Okun went on to break for 4-5, then held for 5-5, and the players exchanged breaks to force a tie-break, Bogdanovic having saved four set points in the 12th game. Okun won the shoot-out, 7-3, on his fifth set point, and went on to complete a run of 10 of 11 games to lead 5-0 in the second set. Bogdanovic then held for 1-5 and broke for 2-5, only to double-fault to 15-40 before being broken to deuce in the eighth game.

Bogdanovic managed to break in the first game of the third set, only to be broke in the second game. Okun dictated the remainder of the match after breaking for 3-1 and won after two hours and 22 minutes.

At least Rusedski's day went according to plan. His 6-4, 6-3, 6-0 win against Levy, the Israeli No 2, was trouble-free apart from his irate opponent's protests about line calls and a scuffle in the stands between a photographer and a spectator.

"I couldn't ask for anything more," Rusedski said, urging the younger team members to show they believed in themselves by following his lead.

Rusedski won the opening three games in the first and second sets and the first four in the third. Levy's break, in the fifth game, was aided by Rusedski's decision not to play a shot on a lobbed second service return, only to the see the ball land well inside the baseline.

Levy's recovery did not extend beyond the 10th game, in which Rusedski broke to love to take the set after 35 minutes. The noise level increased as Levy ran towards the official's chair, angrily waving his racket to dispute a call that took Rusedski from 15-30 to 30-30 en route to holding serve for 5-2.

Levy continued to protest after the change-over before concentrating on holding serve for 2-5. Rusedski then served out the set after 31 minutes with an emphatic forehand volley. Levy was so discouraged by this time that Rusedski was able to whip through the third set in 21 minutes without conceding a game

He then rejoined the rest of the team in the stands to watch Bogdanovic's torment.

Davis Cup Europe-Africa Zone Group One, second round (Tel Aviv): Israel 1, Britain 1 Singles: G Rusedski (GB) bt H Levy (Isr) 6-4 6-3 6-0; N Okun (Isr) bt A Bogdanovic (GB) 7-6 6-2 6-2.

Today: J Erlich and A Ram v A Murray and D Sherwood. ( BBC1, 1.05pm).

Tomorrow: Okun v Rusedski; Levy v Bogdanovic ( BBC1 6.30pm).

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
News
news
News
peopleCampaign 'to help protect young people across the world'
Life and Style
tech

News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

News
i100
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
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.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker