Stakhovsky fit and focused on rematch

Ukrainian recovers in time to face Andy Murray again in Davis Cup tie in Glasgow

Sergei Stakhovsky was a relieved man here yesterday. Having had to retire in the final set of his first-round match in the Dubai Championships against Andy Murray because of an ankle injury, the 23-year-old Ukrainian was concerned that he might not be fit for his rematch against the world No 4 in Glasgow next week. After treatment, however, Stakhovsky reported that he should recover in time to face Britain in the Davis Cup at the Braehead Arena.

In an age when some leading players choose when to represent their country, Stakhovsky knows where his priorities lie. "It all comes down to whether you play for your singles career or for the Davis Cup," the world No 75 said. "You have to sacrifice something." Since playing in the defeat to Britain in Odessa three years ago, Stakhovsky has appeared in all five of Ukraine's ties in the twilight zone of Europe-Africa Zone Group Two. For Stakhovsky the sacrifices in going to Glasgow are considerable. He will be unable to play in the qualifiers for next month's Masters Series event in Indian Wells, ruling him out of the following tournament in Miami. "It makes no sense flying out just to play 'qualies' in Miami," he said. "But I'm willing to sacrifice everything."

While the Lawn Tennis Association will pay its players up to £10,000 each in Glasgow, the Ukrainian federation cannot offer its players anything. "I hope they're going to pay the air fare," Stakhovsky smiled, adding that the Ukrainian party would consist of just four players, a captain and a coach. Not that he is complaining. "I think we owe it to the nation to make an effort," he said. "You only play for your country three times a year."

Stakhovsky finds it "funny" that the LTA, which receives more than £25m a year from Wimbledon profits alone, is staging a six-man play-off between Josh Goodall, James Ward, Alex Slabinsky, Chris Eaton, Dan Evans and Colin Fleming at Roehampton this week to decide which two players will join Andy Murray and Ross Hutchins in Glasgow. After Murray, Britain's next highest-ranked singles player is Alex Bogdanovic, the world No 190, whose Davis Cup record is so poor that he was excluded from the play-offs.

Murray's second-round opponent here today is Arnaud Clement, who beat Rainer Schüttler 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Clement, the world No 73, beat Murray in their only two previous meetings, in 2005 and 2006. Novak Djokovic, the top seed, faces Jan Hernych after easing to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Italy's Flavio Cipolla, the world No 125.

* Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman will be the first to play under Wimbledon's new sliding roof when they appear in a test event at the All England Club on Sunday 17 May. Tickets, which will cost £35, will go on sale on 12 March.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week