LTA rejects star names for Davis Cup jobs

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The Independent Online

Britain's next Davis Cup captain and coach are likely to be appointed from within the Lawn Tennis Association after the governing body's main board yesterday backed long-term plans put forward by Steven Martens, the player director, in the wake of the national team's humiliating defeat against Lithuania earlier this month.

Martens has been consulting present and past players, most of whom have agreed that there is no need to seek a high-profile replacement for John Lloyd, who resigned as captain last week. Greg Rusedski is likely to be overlooked in favour of senior LTA coaches like Leon Smith, who worked with Andy Murray as a teenager, and Colin Beecher. Appointments are expected within the next month, when the results of Martens' investigation are set to be made public.

The All-Party Parliamentary Tennis Group is also expected to publish a report following its own inquiry into the British game. The group has been talking to interested parties and yesterday met Martens and Roger Draper and Derek Howorth, the LTA's chief executive and president respectively.

Murray is seeded to meet Robin Soderling, who beat him in Indian Wells last week, in the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters, which began yesterday. The Scot first plays Mardy Fish or Leonardo Mayer.

Elena Baltacha and Katie O'Brien successfully negotiated their first qualifying matches in Miami against Julie Ditty and Christine McHale respectively. Last night Baltacha was playing Chan Yung-Jan while O'Brien was meeting Michaella Krajicek for places in the main draw. They were hoping to join their fellow Britons Anne Keothavong, who plays Austria's Tamira Paszek in the first round, and Heather Watson, who meets a qualifier after being given a wild card.

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