British juniors show up the Davis Cup old guard

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The Independent Online

Britain's senior men may have suffered the embarrassment of relegation to the Davis Cup's third tier last month, but the juniors were doing their country proud over the weekend.

Having beaten France in Saturday's semi-finals of the Junior Davis Cup in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, the British team of George Morgan, Andrew Bettles and Oliver Golding were due to play Australia in last night's final.

The Junior Davis Cup, for players aged 16 and under, has been going since 1985 and this is the first time that Britain have reached the final.

Sixteen teams qualified for this year's final tournament. They were drawn into round-robin groups of four, with the winners progressing to the semi-finals. Each match features two singles rubbers and one doubles. Britain, captained by Colin Beecher, opened their campaign with emphatic 3-0 victories over Morocco and Uzbekistan before a 2-1 success over Argentina secured a place in the last four, Morgan and Bettles winning the decisive doubles.

The semi-final with France, the European champions and overall favourites, proved a tightly fought contest. Mick Lescure got the French off to a winning start, beating Bettles 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, before Morgan levelled the match by beating Cedrik Commin 6-3, 6-3. The British pair then combined to win the doubles in just 46 minutes, with Morgan in particular in excellent form. Morgan and Bettles, whose ability to turn defence into attack was decisive, won 6-1, 6-2.

Australia, who are the No 3 seeds, went through with something to spare against the Czech Republic, Luke Saville and Jason Kubler winning their singles rubbers and their doubles in straight sets.