Draper tells Lloyd to restore Britain's place in elite group

Britain had just escaped relegation to the third tier of the Davis Cup, but Roger Draper was in no mood to settle for consolidation in Group One of the Europe-Africa Zone. The Lawn Tennis Association's ambitious chief executive has already told John Lloyd, who made a winning start as British captain here on Sunday against Ukraine, that his aim for next year must be to win a place back in the elite World Group.

"The earliest opportunity to get back there is next September and that's John's target," Draper said. "He knows that and everybody is committed to getting back up there."

Draper's insistence on the very best for British tennis could be seen in the brains trust that sat on the sidelines here, with Lloyd supported by Peter Lundgren and Brad Gilbert, two of the world's leading coaches.

Gilbert is already signed up to the Draper revolution, primarily as Andy Murray's coach but also with a broader role across the British game. Draper worked out a schedule here with Gilbert, who will spend 15 of his 40 working weeks per year in London working with other British players and coaches. Lundgren, Roger Federer's former coach, is contracted until the end of the year to work with Marat Safin, but the LTA is hoping to recruit him on a permanent basis.

While support for the leading Britons has never been better, the question now is how quickly the next generation can develop into players of truly international class. In Murray Lloyd can call upon one of the world's most exciting young talents, but there have been plenty of examples over the years of outstanding individuals who have eventually seen the Davis Cup as a hindrance to their careers.

With Greg Rusedski seemingly on the point of hanging up his rackets it is no wonder that one of the first goals for Lloyd in the coming weeks will be to talk Tim Henman out of Davis Cup retirement. If neither Henman nor Rusedski are available, the second singles spot alongside Murray is open. The most likely contenders are two 20-year-olds in Jamie Baker, who lost in the final dead rubber here but impressed Lloyd with his attitude and professionalism, and Josh Goodall, who proved his determination by fighting his way through qualifying to play at both Wimbledon and the US Open this year.

Finding a good doubles pairing is also a priority. Murray is an excellent doubles player, but it would be asking a lot of him to play three matches in every Davis Cup tie. One solution would be to partner Murray with his brother, Jamie, who has enjoyed some good success in doubles this year and has moved from 260 to 110 in the doubles rankings.

Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
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.

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower