Lloyd calls for Henman to to go out in blaze of glory

It has not been the best of summers for John Lloyd, Britain's Davis Cup captain. Andy Murray, his leading player, has hardly played because of his damaged wrist; Tim Henman, having been tempted out of Davis Cup retirement earlier this year, has been dragged down by the back problem which will lead to his quitting the game next month; Jamie Murray has split from his regular doubles partner; and the next rank of British men have made little impact at the Grand Slam tournaments.

Lloyd yesterday named his team for next month's World Group play-off against Croatia at Wimbledon – the two Murrays will line up alongside Henman and Jamie Baker –and will enjoy the news that Mario Ancic is likely to miss the tie. Croatia's best grass-court player – the last man to beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon – injured his shoulder in New Haven last week and is expected to pull out of this week's US Open before his first match against Novak Djokovic.

It adds to a year of woe for Ancic, who had six months out with glandular fever and has failed to progress beyond the second round of the three tournaments he has played since returning earlier this month. The 23-year-old was a mainstay of the team alongside Ivan Ljubicic when Croatia won the Davis Cup for the first time two years ago.

The second singles post may now go to Ivo Karlovic, whose huge serve could be a major weapon at Wimbledon, but the world No 30 is in dispute with his national federation over money. Marin Cilic, the world No 116, who beat Henman at Queen's Club in June, would be the obvious alternative.

Lloyd said Henman's retirement after the Croatia tie would be a major blow for the team in the future, but he did not expect the former British No 1's decision to affect his performance next month.

"He's the ultimate pro," Lloyd said yesterday. "I would think he would use every bit that he's got for this week [at the US Open] and for the Davis Cup because it's his last competitive thing. I think that now he's made the decision, it's done. I'm expecting a lot from him. I think he'll be fired up like there's no tomorrow – because there is no tomorrow."

Alex Bogdanovic, the British No 3, and Richard Bloomfield, the No 5, will train with the squad as they prepare for the tie. Lloyd said he would have named Bogdanovic as the fourth member of his team ahead of Baker but for an injury that forced him to retire three games into his first qualifying match for the US Open.

"Bogdanovic is unlucky," Lloyd said. "He's had this wretched rib and back injury and hasn't won a match since then. He's been basically playing at 80 per cent most of the time and it looks like he might have to have a couple of weeks off. He's in the six, but I'm not going to name him for obvious reasons. He may not even be fit to play anyway. I spoke to him and he understands that."

Baker, the British No 4 and world No 231, reached the final round of qualifying in New York and impressed Lloyd with his attitude and hard work when he was part of the captain's first squad last year, when Britain avoided relegation by beating Ukraine in Odessa.

Lloyd's team will assemble at Wimbledon a week before the start of next month's tie, which gives Britain a chance to return to the elite World Group for the first time since 2003. "The way I look at it, grass is a surface that all our guys get used to very quickly," Lloyd said. "It's not something where we go away on clay and need a practice week.

"Grass-court tennis for our guys you pick up in 10 minutes. It's not a surface that takes a lot of getting used to if you know how to play on it. I think by the time this summer circuit has gone through we'll have played enough tennis, even though obviously with Andy and Tim they haven't played as many matches as they would like.

"Grass is an easy surface to get used to and I think we'll get to the point where everyone is peaking at the right time. I don't think you want to be there too much because you get hacked off with a place, no matter where it is, if you are there too long."

Lloyd said he regarded Croatia as the favourites, "but we've got a good shot as long as our boys are fit". He added: "I believe we can get in the World Group and then you just don't know. In Andy, we've got a player who can win two matches against anybody in any Davis Cup match and if you can do that you've only got to sneak one more win."

Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities