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).

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own