Parmar setback opens door for Bogdanovic

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The Independent Online

Arvind Parmar has withdrawn from Great Britain's Davis Cup tie with Israel in Tel Aviv this weekend because of injury, leaving the team captain Jeremy Bates to decide whether to pair Alex Bogdanovic with Greg Rusedski in the singles and draft 17-year-old Andrew Murray into the side.

Arvind Parmar has withdrawn from Great Britain's Davis Cup tie with Israel in Tel Aviv this weekend because of injury, leaving the team captain Jeremy Bates to decide whether to pair Alex Bogdanovic with Greg Rusedski in the singles and draft 17-year-old Andrew Murray into the side.

Parmar flew back to London yesterday after failing to recover from a knee injury sustained during his run to the semi-finals of a tournament in Cherbourg last week. Despite losing his position as the British No 3 to Alex Bogdanovic in January, Parmar's improved form had been expected to earn him the second singles berth for the Euro-African Zone match, which begins on Friday.

Bogdanovic should now fill in alongside Greg Rusedski when the draw is made in Tel Aviv this afternoon. Parmar's withdrawal also increases the chances of the US Open junior champion Murray becoming Great Britain's youngest Davis Cup representative.

Rusedski is not expected to figure in Saturday's doubles against the world-class Israeli pair Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. It is highly unlikely that Bogdanovic would be required to play three matches in as many days, leaving the way open for the Scot Murray to partner Sheffield's David Sherwood in a double Davis Cup debut.

Murray would beat the record held by Roger Becker, who made his debut in Yugoslavia in 1952 aged 18 years and 101 days.

Back in the United Kingdom, the All England Lawn Tennis Club has appointed a new chief executive. Ian Ritchie, a non-executive director of the Football League, has a background in law and media and takes over from Chris Gorringe, who will retire after the 2005 Wimbledon event.

Martin Guntrip, once ranked ninth in the UK, becomes club secretary and will replace Roger Ambrose, who will retire at the same time as Gorringe.

In Dubai, the French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by the 18-year-old Indian sensation Sania Mirza in the Dubai Open second round yesterday.

Mirza became the first Indian woman to reach the third round of a Grand Slam in Melbourne last month. She was also the first Indian to win a WTA Tour event, in Hyderabad.

Mirza further underlined her potential against Kuznetsova, recovering from a shaky start to produce a supremely confident performance. She was down 4-0 but won six straight games to take the first set and grew in confidence in front of nearly 5,000 spectators, consisting mainly of Indian expatriate workers, on the centre court.

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