Rusedski already relishing retirement

Egg and bacon have never tasted better. Having announced his retirement immediately after securing Britain's Davis Cup victory over the Netherlands by winning his doubles with Jamie Murray on Saturday, Greg Rusedski was quick to take advantage of his new status as a former tennis player. "I had a nice full cooked breakfast this morning," he said yesterday. "I don't need to worry about training any more. I'm just getting on with my new life."

There could not have been a more fitting final stage. A mainstay of Britain's Davis Cup team since his debut in 1995, 33-year-old Rusedski partnered one of the country's new generation in what proved to be the decisive rubber here. He hit the winning shot with the sort of backhand volley that always made him one of the best exponents of serve-and-volley tennis.

For a player who needed time to win over the British public after spending the first 17 years of his life in Canada - his mother was born in Yorkshire but later moved to Canada, where she married his Ukrainian-born father - the Davis Cup has always been important to Rusedski. It gave him a way of showing that the Union Jack bandanna he wore at Wimbledon in 1995, the year he got his British passport, was not a flag of convenience.

If Rusedski has occasionally in the past seemed overkeen to demonstrate his Britishness, today nobody can doubt his allegiances. He lives in London with his British-born wife and daughter, supports Arsenal, loves James Bond films and is looking forward to enjoying a few more pints in the pub. He has not made any decisions on a new career but would love a role working with young British players.

Rusedski said his two main regrets were failing to win a Grand Slam tournament or a match in the Davis Cup World Group. Nevertheless, no British player has come closer to achieving the former since John Lloyd reached the Australian Open final 30 years ago.

Rusedski's achievement in becoming the first Briton to play in the US Open final since Fred Perry in 1936 was the highlight of his career. He lost in four sets to Pat Rafter in 1997 in a match which went unnoticed in some quarters as it was played on the weekend of Princess Diana's funeral.

Rusedski regards his 1998 victory over Pete Sampras in the Paris Masters indoor final as his greatest performance but said his semi-final defeat of Jonas Bjorkman over five sets at the US Open the previous year best summed up his qualities.

"It was such a yo-yo match and at the end I found a way to get to the final, winning it 7-5 when he was serving to go to a tie-breaker in the deciding set," he said. "My career is probably more like a five-setter where I find a way to win on the last ball than the Federer-esque sort of final against Sampras."

If his backhand was always a weakness, Rusedski's huge serve - he once held the record for the fastest in the game - booming forehand and confident volleys made him a formidable opponent. He was the most ferocious of competitors and won matches even when struggling to find his best form.

Rusedski won 15 tournaments (five on grass), 436 singles matches and nearly $8,944,841 (about £4.6m) in prize-money, but did not always play his best at Wimbledon. His best performance at the tournament was in 1997, when he lost to Cedric Pioline in the quarter-finals. That was also the year he was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year. "I think that's when the public really accepted me for who I was," he said yesterday.

Rusedski reached No 4 in the world in 1997 and made a spirited comeback after dropping out of the world's top 150 three years ago following a drugs controversy. His lawyers successfully proved at a tribunal, at a personal cost to Rusedski of about £400,000, that he (and seven other players) had tested positive for small traces of a banned steroid because of contaminated supplements they had been given by official ATP sources.

The player alongside whom Rusedski will always be remembered is Tim Henman. Their careers followed remarkable parallels, even down to being born on the same date (Rusedski is 12 months older), wedding within a week of each other and marrying women called Lucy. Both reached No 4 in the world and believe their rivalry was beneficial to each other.

While Henman and Rusedski have never been close, they regularly joined forces to good effect in the Davis Cup and their mutual respect is evident. Henman was one of the first to shake his colleague's hand after his doubles victory on Saturday. "He just said, 'Congratulations, well done and enjoy the rest of your life'," Rusedski said.

VIDEO
News
people
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?