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.
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
WWE Battleground 2014 results: John Cena and The Miz are the big winners on a night to forget in Tampa, Florida
Liverpool transfer news: Loic Remy, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi on verge of Anfield moves
Manchester City transfer news: Completed summer deals
- 1 Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
- 2 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 3 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains