Exhausted Rusedski in need of help

US Open: Briton succumbs in a five-set marathon again but remains upbeat as he searches for a new coach

Having lost a heartbreaker of a match at the US Open here in New York on Friday night, Greg Rusedski plans to set off this weekend in urgent search of two things - a full-time coach and another tournament to offer him more match practice before he travels to the Olympic Games.

Having lost a heartbreaker of a match at the US Open here in New York on Friday night, Greg Rusedski plans to set off this weekend in urgent search of two things - a full-time coach and another tournament to offer him more match practice before he travels to the Olympic Games.

Rusedski was probably glad to see the back of the Flushing Meadow arena, since it certainly cannot be classed as a happy place of work. Last year he led Todd Martin 7-5 6-0 4-1 in the fourth round, only to collapse in spectacular fashion and crash to a five-set defeat. This time he was again two sets in front of a desperately out-of-form Cedric Pioline, only for the 10th-seeded Frenchman to down Greg in five sets after3 hours 45 minutes, 6-7 3-6 6-4 7-6 6-3.

Both men had come into this contest short of matches. Rusedski's problems with his foot and form have been well publicised, while Pioline has also been out of the game since Wimbledon after breaking three bones in his left (nonhitting) hand playing volleyball. It was exhaustion which did for the British left-hander in the end but he was cheerful enough about it all afterwards and commendably upbeat as he attempts to salvage something from what has turned into a wretched year.

First, Rusedski needs to find a full-time replacement as coach for Sven Groeneveld, from whom he parted amicably after Wimbledon. He has recently been working with the American Scott Brooke at Saddlebrook, Florida. Brooke coached him early in his career and stepped in to help again on a temporary basis, since he is unwilling to travel the globe, as Greg requires. "It's not possible for Scotty to come to the Olympics or go to Europe all the time," said Rusedski. "I think I'll be training a bit more in Florida and when I'm in America he can help me. But I need something more permanent."

Rusedski is considering playing the Tashkent tournament, which was won twice by Tim Henman, en route to Sydney. "That kind of takes me halfway down there, and to get a few more matches would be nice." When it was suggested the Australian Bob Brett, who had worked with the likes of Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic, might be available to help, Rusedski grinned and said: "I don't know. He's too expensive. I don't want to be rude to Bob but I don't know if he's worth eight grand a week. But I'll find someone."

To find someone quickly would be smart, since Rusedski has slipped so badly in the rankings that he is in danger of failing to gain automatic entry to the rich European autumn indoor events where he usually prospers. A win over Pioline would have done wonders for him but he began to run out of steam on a day of high humidity as early as the third set and once he had missed two match points in the fourth-set tiebreak it was clear the opportunity had escaped him. Thirty-seven minutes later the match was duly lost.

Rusedski stuck gamely to his plan to attack the baseline-loving Pioline, charging in gallantly and sometimes recklessly. He played 157 points from the net and won only half of them. He also hit 15 aces but had 12 double-faults. "The only thing that let me down was probably my first serve percentage," he said. "Apart from that I fought well. I have nothing to complain about. He was just too good today, but I gave it everything I possibly could."

Having missed his match points and lost the fourth set, Rusedski summoned a trainer to deal with a spot of cramp in his back, but brushed aside any speculation about yet another injury. "There was nothing wrong, it's just that I haven't played that long on a tennis court in a long time. Just a bit of cramp, no big deal. I only had a short time to get ready for the Open but I played two very good matches. I mean, I could have won today but Cedric came up with it when it counted. I couldn't ask for anything more. I've been working hard. I think I'm attacking better. I'm chipping and charging, which is very physically demanding. That was a plus.

"This was totally different from last year's match with Todd Martin. I basically lost that match but Cedric won this one. That's the difference. So this is much easier to handle, much easier to take than the one against Todd because I basically gave him that match, said 'Merry Christmas, here you go'. But today Cedric took it. The guy played good tennis."

The irony was that, had Rusedski beaten Pioline, his third-round opponent would have been Martin, who crushed Michael Chang 6-46-2 6-4. But the grin is back. the next step will be to regain confidence fully. At least the foot on which he had an operation last December appears to have survived two matches in New York. "The foot's good," Greg affirmed. "Everything feels great."

Not so great, in Rusedski's opinion, is the way he feels he has been treated by some sections of the media. "People like to write you off sometimes. They don't take in all the aspects. Every athlete has one difficult year in their career. I've had some people support me in the media and some totally write me off. But they can't take away what I've accomplished in the past.

"I keep coming back from these situations. These problems and controversies only make me stronger. Some people have nice roads, others have difficult ones. And when you win it just makes you feel better."

The victory certainly made Pioline feel better. Having spent the first two sets grimacing and complaining about line calls that went against him, he smilingly signed autographs afterwards and tossed his towel into the crowd.

"I thought if I could push [Rusedski] to a fifth set I would win. But first you have to win the fourth." Pioline smiled. He could afford to this time.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
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.

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?