Lloyd goes green with Davis Cup squad
With Murray unavailable captain forced to pick untried players for Lithuania rubber
Tuesday 09 February 2010
Britain will travel to Lithuania next month with a team lacking any players who have won a live Davis Cup rubber. Following Andy Murray's decision to make himself unavailable for the Europe Africa Zone Group Two tie in Vilnius, the captain, John Lloyd, yesterday named an initial six-man squad notable mainly for its lack of experience.
Jamie Baker, Dan Evans and James Ward are in contention for the two singles slots, with Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski likely to be the doubles pairing, although Ross Hutchins is also in the squad. Skupski and Ward have yet to play in the Davis Cup, while Baker, who won a "dead" rubber against Argentina's Agustin Calleri two years ago, is the only squad member who has ever won a match for his country. The squad will be cut to four later this month.
Britain last played in what is effectively the Davis Cup's third division 14 years ago. Only three Lithuanians are ranked in the world's top 1,000 – Ricardas Berankis (No 255), Laurynas Grigelis (568) and Dovydas Sakinis (865) – but with Ward (252) the top-ranked singles player in the British squad Lloyd knows the size of the task his team are facing.
Berankis, 19, won the US Open junior title three years ago, trains at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida and has been picked out by Roger Federer as a regular practice partner. Sakinis, 17, beat the highly experienced Georgian Irakli Labadze in the deciding rubber as Lithuania recorded their best ever victory in the Davis Cup last year.
Britain should win the doubles – Fleming and Skupski are ranked the world's No 26 pair – but the singles matches could be tight. Baker, whose disciplined approach has impressed Lloyd in the past, looks likely to play, while Ward may just edge out Evans for Britain's other singles berth.
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid winger
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations