Britain face further year in Davis Cup doldrums

Britain's Davis Cup team will continue to forage in the Euro-African Zone for another year after failing to win promotion to the World Group against Austria here yesterday.

Austria won the weekend's play-off, 3-2, and will stay in the 16-strong first division of the premier men's international team competition. The tie was played in two days after Friday's opening singles matches were washed out, and Britain's Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were unable to take the strain of playing three matches each.

The doubles rubber was the crucial match, and Henman and Rusedski, a partnership previously unbeaten in eight ties, lost to Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya, of Austria, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1. Play was suspended because of bad light on Saturday, with the Austrians leading, two sets to one, and Knowle and Peya finished the job in only 21 minutes yesterday.

Henman, who lost his opening singles against Stefan Koubek on Saturday, took the match to a deciding fifth rubber yesterday by defeating the Austrian No 1, Jurgen Melzer, 0-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-2.

Rusedski, who had beaten Melzer in four sets on Saturday, lost the deciding rubber against Koubek, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5. Rusedski, who injured his left hand during the doubles, had held three set points against Koubek in the first set, and also created chances in the second and third sets.

Koubek praised Rusedski's efforts, saying: "We thought everything would have to go through Tim Henman if we were to win, but he didn't play his best tennis. Greg was unbelievable. He played so well to beat Jurgen [Melzer], and I had a really tough time against him too. But I just kept believing in myself." The draw for the Euro-African Zone is due to take place next Thursday.

  • 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.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk