Lloyd in line as Bates quits Davis Cup

The "situations vacant" notice board at the Lawn Tennis Association's Queen's Club headquarters is getting busier by the day. The latest position that needs to be filled is that of Davis Cup captain after Jeremy Bates resigned yesterday following the weekend defeat by Israel.

After a promising start early in 2004, Bates' last three matches ended in defeat. If losing away to a Roger Federer-inspired Switzerland last September was to be expected, the two defeats this year at the hands of Serbia and Montenegro in Glasgow and Israel in Eastbourne were bitter blows. They leave Britain having to win in Ukraine in September to avoid dropping into Europe-Africa Zone Group Two, effectively the Davis Cup's third division. Nevertheless the exit of Bates, who remains as the LTA's Head of Performance, is of a different nature to the high-profile departures that followed the appointment of Roger Draper as chief executive earlier this year. Whereas Draper quickly decided that the likes of David Felgate, the performance director, and Rebecca Miskin, the tennis operations director, did not fit in with his plans, he had not been looking to oust Bates. "I would like to thank Jeremy for his dedication as captain," Draper said last night. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his broader coaching role at the LTA."

Bates, who said it had been "a privilege" to captain the team, has been on a hiding to nothing since succeeding Roger Taylor. Tim Henman retired from Davis Cup tennis before he took over and injuries to two key players contributed significantly to this year's defeats. Andy Murray was unable to play in the singles in Glasgow, while Greg Rusedski missed Eastbourne with a hip injury. Even James Auckland, who would almost certainly have played in the doubles against Israel, was unavailable as he was getting married.

Draper is keen to surround himself with what he describes as a "world-class" team, which is likely to lead to a shortlist of candidates to succeed Bates. While Draper is considering overseas candidates as he looks to fill some of the other posts, there are not exactly many Britons with the right credentials to take on the Davis Cup role.

The job has probably come too early for Henman or Rusedski, which could leave John Lloyd as the man in pole position. A senior BBC commentator, he is a high-profile and well-respected figure within the sport and was a fierce Davis Cup competitor. His brother, David, who was captain for five years from 1995, has been welcomed back into the fold by Draper as a developer of young talent.

"The Davis Cup is something I've loved and I'd be an idiot if I wasn't interested," John Lloyd told the BBC website yesterday. "But no one's mentioned it to me." Lloyd was highly critical of Alex Bogdanovic, who disappointed again in Eastbourne. "He seemed to accept defeat way too early," Lloyd said. "I would much rather have someone who might not have the talent, but is willing to run through a brick wall for you. We have to rebuild and put in some untried younger players alongside Andy Murray."

Bates' Davis Cup record

* 2004

Luxembourg (Esch sur Alzette) won 4-1.

Austria (Portschach) lost 3-2.

* 2005

Israel (Tel Aviv) won 3-2.

Switzerland (Geneva) lost 5-0.

* 2006

Serbia and Montenegro (Glasgow) lost 3-2.

Israel (Eastbourne) lost 3-2.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
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.

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test