Friday, March 23, 2007

Good News for Britain Davis Cup Hopes

Tim Henman will end his Davis Cup retirement next month after being named in the Great Britain squad for the Euro-Africa Zone tie against the Netherlands.

Captain John Lloyd's efforts to tempt Henman out of his self-imposed exile have proved successful and he will be Britain's second-ranked player for the match in Birmingham on April 6-8.Henman joins number one Andy Murray in the six-man squad, along with the Scot's older brother Jamie, Greg Rusedski, Jamie Baker and Richard Bloomfield.Henman last played in the competition against Austria in 2004 before retiring to concentrate on the ATP Tour.Lloyd said: "I am confident we have one of the strongest teams in years for this tie against the Netherlands. It is vital for us to win if we are to work our way back into the World Group."I am really excited about the balance of the team with huge professional experience and some really exciting young talent."We have got a bit of a fear factor going on now with our squad and particularly if we get home matches, bring anybody on. If our team is fit and ready to play there are not many teams who would like to play us."When I took the job last year we had an exceptional singles player in Andy Murray who was rising fast, Greg Rusedski who had not won too many matches and had injury problems, and other players who were not quite ready."But things have turned round quickly. Andy has continued to play exceptionally and taken another step to being an established, world-class player, and we were very fortunate to get Tim back into the team."Henman has been persuaded to return in part by the prospect of sharing the burden for Great Britain's chances with world number 12 Murray.

Meanwhile Jamie Murray has been rewarded for his superb doubles form, which has seen him capture two ATP Tour titles this season and climb to 43rd in the doubles rankings."Jamie has taken the doubles by storm and he has come up faster than anybody anticipated. He has had an exceptional year and he has really gone on a streak with his American partner (Eric Butorac)," Lloyd said.Bloomfield has been in good form on the Challenger circuit this year where his results have helped him to move up to world number 183.

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