Wimbledon 97: Court circular: Lee all set to motor on

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The Independent Online
Those searching for the silver lining yesterday would not have been greatly encouraged to see one of Martin Lee's coaches deeply immersed in the competitors' lounge in War and Peace. "The way things are going I should get through this book before Martin has finished his second round match," remarked Martin Kozma with a mournful look at the rain crashing down outside.

Meanwhile Lee, rated as a likely contender to usurp Tim Henman as Britain's No 1 eventually, was pouring through a selection of car magazines. A much- needed new vehicle is likely to take account of the pounds 10,165 cheque he is guaranteed for coming through his first round match - his first in the Wimbledon main draw - against Nuno Marques of Portugal. His present one (a C-reg Ford Fiesta of unreliable staying power) has become a standing joke among the Rover School at Bisham Abbey.

"That car is pushed more than it is driven," head coach Ian Barclay explained. We have to let Marty off the fitness work because he's enough to do getting his car started at the end of every session."

Barclay, who discovered Pat Cash as an 11-year-old prodigy and turned him into a Wimbledon champion, has equally high hopes for Lee. He is credited with bringing about a sea change in the fortunes of British boys on the world circuit but there remains a doubt about his future with the Lawn Tennis Association. His three-year contract expires at the end of August and as yet there have been no moves to give him a new one.