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Tuesday, 4 February, 2003, 11:17 GMT
What's left for Great Britain?
World number one Lleyton Hewitt is lying in wait for Britain's Davis Cup team
Australia win the Davis Cup match with Great Britain with a day to spare.

Did the inexperienced Brits perform as well as they could?

Have your say

Arvind Parmar and Miles Maclagan won a set but were still defeated in the crucial rubber in the Australia-GB Davis Cup tie.

Alex Bogdanovic and Alan Mackin had earlier both lost in straight sets to Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis respectively.

But Bogdanovic did prevent a whitewash on the last day by beating Todd Woodbridge in the final singles rubber.

Should British tennis take any positives from the display?

Have your say


I watched the first two rubbers and think that the Brits can be proud of their performance. Yes it was a total mis-match but Alan & Alex played some good tennis.

Come on LTA, wake up and smell the coffee - we have some real talent in this country, we just need some quality coaching.
Sharon, UK

It's a good opportunity for the younger tennis stars to take centre stage and experience top-level tennis. They won't win, but we need to encourage them as the Davis Cup team cannot function successfully as a two-man team! I wish the GB team every success and hope they put up a good show. Best of luck!
Stephen Horrocks, England

I would just like to say I went to support the two young Brits today and I was very proud of the fighting spirit they showed. Both players tried their best and considering the fantastic players they were up against they did their country proud!
Anne, Australia

Tom! Josh! Don't take it so seriously guys. The Australian rivalry with the poms should be taken no more seriously than that of the English rivalry with Germany in the football or with France in anything.

Clay has always been, and continues to be the Achilles heel of British players

Joe, England
Such rivalries are part of the way we enjoy sport. Well it's started, and for once I'm proud to be British. We may not be winning, and we may not be going to win, but Alan Mackin is fighting like a tiger, and I'm proud.
Nick, UK

Well, it is almost certain that Australia will simply overwhelm Britain. Don't be so disappointed about losing to Aussies in almost all sports, you guys may have a laugh when it comes to soccer in few days time.
Sunjay, Australia

What ever the overall result, this will provide invaluable experience for Alex Bogdanavic, a player with the potential to be a good top 50 player. Clay has always been, and continues to be the Achilles heel of British players (Sue Barker aside!).
Joe, England

As much as I would like the underdogs to at least win a couple of sets, with players like Hewitt and Philippoussis they do not stand much of a chance.
Pauline Chappuis, Australia

Oh please, like Henman and Rusedski would make a difference?

Craig Gaydos, US

Let's have some positive thought and show the GB team some support. Hewitt and Philippoussis are not as invincible as they may like to believe.
Jen, England

Of course we can't win but that's half the fun. It's a no-win situation for the Aussies. If they tank us 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in every match, no one will be too surprised, but even ONE rubber won will be an upset. Come on GB heap the pressure on!
Andy C, UK

A set? Frankly there's more chance of Virginia Wade winning a second Wimbledon title.
Robert Williams, UK

Oh please, like Henman and Rusedski would make a difference? The Aussies may be arrogant, but I have never seen an British team play in any sport without first establishing an excuse for being drubbed.
Craig Gaydos, US

It would truly rank as one of the biggest upsets of all time

Dan, England

It's blatantly obvious that Hewitt will be going for a 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 score line. I'm really going to laugh my head off if he drops a game. I doubt if Lleyton will ever be able to show his face in public again!
Roland Marslin, UK

Why would an English defeat be such a surprise to anyone? Take away Tim & Greg and English tennis is as pathetic as it ever was. If these lads have the guts to have a go, let's try and get behind them.
Nigel, England

After the cricketing disappointments this winter there would be nothing better than beating the brash Aussies in their own back yard. Unfortunately, I really can't see it happening.

If it did, it would truly rank as one of the biggest upsets of all time. However, Roger Taylor is quite right to give youth its head and try out the youngsters - it will be great experience for them to play against some of the world's best players.

We can accept the Ashes, live with a Davis Cup defeat, just please, please don't let them beat us at football!
Dan, England

Perhaps we would stand more of a chance if tennis in this country wasn't restricted to public school boys.

Tennis and the opportunities to play at higher levels should be available to all. Maybe then will find someone with the resolve to win something!
Dave, UK

Simply put it will be the biggest mismatch in Davis Cup history

Neal, UK

To Alistair Budd (below): exactly why would Scottish tennis players be fired up by an England win at ruby?

While not wishing to appear chippy, this is a British team that's going to play Australia, not an English one. Contrary to popular belief in the USA and elsewhere, England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom do not all mean the same thing.
Alan, UK

I do wish our boys all the best for the up coming match and I really hope that the youngsters so out there with an attitude that there is nothing to lose, which basically there isn't.

Australia have a strong squad and they have depth. Sadly, the lack of Tim & Greg only goes to show how bad a state British tennis is in! Not one person on this team is in the top 100. As someone else claimed, hopefully this will wake up the toffee nosed, pompous people who run the LTA, but I doubt that will happen.
David Williams, Ft Lauderdale, USA (Ex-Wigan)

Simply put it will be the biggest mismatch in Davis Cup history, the British players will probably never be the same again after the humiliation they are about to endure on an international stage.

For all concerned let's just forfeit and save what tennis in Britain has left!
Neal, UK

Come on guys what ever happened to the 'never say die' British spirit? I honestly believe that the Aussie complacency could work in our favour.

Tom, well spoken for the British public! I spent time in Australia so I know where you're coming from.
Joshua Heugh, Chaucer Grove, UK

I would be grateful if GB could pull a victory out of the bag

Sohail Ali, Pakistan

My advice to the GB Davis Cup team: just before you go on court, watch a video of the England v Australia rugby match at Twickenham last November. That should get you fired up for your matches. Give it all you've got and play the best tennis of your life. No-one can ask for more.
Alistair Budd, USA

Stop being so negative. Maybe the result is predictable but the younger boys, in particular, are the future. If they don't get the opportunity, they'll never learn.
David Ashman, UK

Tom from the UK - how can you claim England are better than the Wallabies at rugby? The Wallabies have won virtually every under the sun, including two World Cups.

England have trouble even winning a Six Nations title! Oh, and regarding the football, we'll see on the 12th!
Francois, Sydney, Australia

I would like GB to win very much. I have always supported Henman against our great Pakistani players and I would be grateful if GB could pull a victory out of the bag.
Sohail Ali, Pakistan

Whingeing Poms! Some of you just can't take losing, so you have to talk about your "so called" superiority, and having better things to do in drabby England, than play sport.

Like what? Watching Neighbours? We don't watch that show here! We're usually lapping up the blue skies, warm sun, and beach around that time!
Ali Evans, Australia

I am amazed at the lack of information and negative comments re- the British Davis Cup players. The old saying is you've got to be in it to win it.

I fly to Sydney tomorrow as my nephew is Alan Mackin. I will be happy if he plays, never mind winning. Good luck to both sides. Make it entertaining.
Anne Mackin, Western Australia

Alex is a top class junior player who is starting to make his move. He is national champion and has already won ITF men's events.

For sure he can take a set as he showed against Escude at Wimbledon 2002. 5-0 to Australia but Alex will show some promise.
Oleg Dyachenko, Ukraine

Sadly, this is not a winnable tie for Britain

Christine, UK

No, I think the Australian team will be too strong. I'd like to invite Tom, England to Sydney so he can experience for himself the fact that not only is there plenty to enjoy about life here, but there's not much to feel inferior about either.
Daryl, Australia

My flight was booked, my accommodation was booked. I should be in Australia! But I wanted to see Tim. So all was cancelled. After all, GB may face a winnable tie in September to haul us back into the World Group. And where will that be? Funds needed to be conserved.

Sadly, this is not a winnable tie. There's been talk of it being a great experience "no matter what" for the youngsters. But the drubbing I expect them to get could well finish them off! I'll be watching through the nights but, probably, from behind the sofa with a stiff drink.
Christine, UK

Probably not! I hope the Aussies do thrash us, then all those hoity toity people that make up the tennis fraternity will realise that they need to find new young talent and get the game promoted in others areas of the country.

Who knows; the next world no.1 could be hitting a ball against a wall on some council estate right now.
Simon, England

Dear all you patriotic Aussies out there. Every English person below has agreed that you are going to absolutely slaughter us in this epic contest.

Most of we English accept that you are a much better sporting nation than us (with the exception of rugby and football perhaps) but it is your extraordinary arrogance and outrageous rivalry against us that is so unnecessary.

I have spent a lot of time in Australia and it does appear that a worrying amount of effort is put into 'slagging off' the 'Poms', both socially and through the media.
Tom, England

What's all this talk about England and the English? Three of the players are Scottish!

Donald, Scotland

Sorry, could you please repeat the question. You cannot be serious!
Dave Rogers, England

Andy C is being very unfair to Tim and Greg. They have both played most of GB's Davis Cup ties for several years, including the defeats against the USA and Sweden, and the away tie against Ecuador, when the tie was again played on clay. Henman single-handedly got us through the tie against Thailand.
Colin, England

Have to agree with Tom. In response to some of the Aussies here, what has your country actually contributed to the world? If Matt isn't too impressed with this country, may I suggest he goes back home and takes half of West London with him, which is infested with his badly dressed fellow countrymen!

I have lived in Oz and it's true, they have a chip on both shoulders and are obsessed with beating the Poms at everything.
KC, UK

Can Great Britain, the origin of tennis, the homeland of Mighty Tim and Gallant Greg, gather all their grit and determination, overcome all the odds, and defeat the formidable Aussies? Er, no.
Katie, UK

What's all this talk about England and the English? Three of the players are Scottish! Everyone knows sporting Scots are better as underdogs and in this situation, where almost nobody in Scotland even knows who these lads are, they could hardly be bigger underdogs.

I predict Scotland (and their English colleague) will trounce the Aussies 5-0.
Donald, Scotland

All you patriotic Aussies out there: Every English person below has agreed that you are going to absolutely slaughter us in this epic contest.

Most of English people accept that you are a much better sporting nation than us (with the exception of Rugby and Football perhaps) but it is your extraordinary arrogance and outrageous rivalry against us that is so unneccesary.

I have spent a lot of time in Australia and it does appear that a worrying amount of effort is put into slagging off the 'Poms' both socially and through the media.

Matt, you have obviously spent far too long over here in the UK and forgotten what huge issues there are back home in Australia.
Tom, England

I had considered staying in this weekend to watch this match, but after learning that "Alex Bogdanovic" and "Miles McClagan" are our team, I think I'll hit the town instead and catch up on the (very) bad news later.
Oliver Leggett, Nottingham, England

Aussies apparently have such an inferiority complex that we live for no other reason than to excel at sport, smashing the Poms wherever possible.

Furthermore, the tiresome Australian inferiority complex to England will further increase their ambition to absolutely destroy our under-strength team.

Tom, England

Yes, our lives are so dull that we never enjoy our warm sunny afternoons at the beach, or cool evenings at concerts, or pleasant dinner dates with friends or anything else for that matter.

All that matters, all that occupies our every waking thought is handing out yet another hammering to the hapless, condescending Poms! Hmmmm....I don't think so.

Don't flatter yourselves. England really isn't that relevant anymore. You lot really should get a life and stop whingeing about always losing to Australia - even before it has happened.
Greg, Australia

Did Tom say Aussies have an inferiority complex when it comes to the English? Quite clearly the results on the court or field show it is the English who lack the self-belief and feel inferior to the might of the Australians.

Unfortunately, I think it will be a clean sweep to the mighty Aussies.
David, Australia

I also think England have no chance. They definitely won't win, but feel they will probably do better than expected.

Tom, England - please enlighten me as to what more 'important' things the English do over here?

And I can't understand your so called claim of us having an inferiority complex - hence our success at sport. I've been over here for four years, and judging by the general state of affairs in this country, I've anything but an inferiority complex when it comes to the English.
Matt, Aust in UK

Can't see us winning a set - never a rubber.

We have talked about a lack of depth for the last 20-30 years, in both men's and women's tennis in GB. Have we done anything about it? No.

The only thing that we are good at is creating bureaucracy. At that we are in the world's elite. Until this is got rid of, I am afraid we are doomed to decade after decade of failure
Jason, UK

Forget it! They will go down bravely but will be totally outclassed.

Win a set? I am prepared to believe that they will not get a single break point in the five rubbers. It is not being defeatist, it is being realistic.

Getting as many as three games in any set of the tie is a realistic (and probably unattainable) target.
Mark Kidger, Tenerife/U.K.

Britian should concede before it starts. It's going to be a whitewash

Go Lleyton!
Mhairi, Scotland

The brutal realism is that our poor lads aren't going to even get a game - let alone a set.

The Aussies are obsessed with their sport and thats why they are currently so dominant, whereas we have other more important things to do with our lives as well as play with a ball.

Furthermore, the tiresome Australian inferiority complex to England will further increase their ambition to absolutely destroy our under-strength team. Good luck, boys - we'll be proud of you whatever happens!!
Tom, England

I am sure the boys will do their best for us and maybe we should be encouraging rather than putting them down before the tie has even started.

We have been very lucky to have Tim and Greg and, hopefully, they will BOTH be playing Davis Cup for the next tie. Good luck GB!
Carole Massey, England

A set? Frankly, every point won should be paraded around London on an open-top bus upon the team's return to the UK. This should be a contest that makes the recent Ashes series look ultra-competitive.

Still it's good to see when the going gets tough, Timmy and Greggy get going - as far away from the action as possible.
Andy C, England

The words 'not a chance in hell' spring to mind! We couldn't beat the Aussies with Tim and Greg, we won't win a set without them.

It just sums up what a sorry state British tennis is in. People have to realise the game isn't just played two weeks of the year. Until then, none of our players will win a Slam, let alone the Davis or Fed Cups!
Sarah L, UK

If ever we needed an excuse to sweep away the hierarchy of British tennis this is it. When was the last time the system produced a champion? Tim and Greg didn't come through it. We haven't got a prayer. Let's just hope the young lads do themselves justice.
Allister Webb, England

The only way this can happen if the Aussies put the third stringers against England.
Nisar Khan, USA

What is Barry Cheese talking about? Those four jokers the future of tennis? This is someone who clearly knows nothing about the sport. You should be ashamed of yourself Barry.
Bob Judge, UK

No, the Brits cannot avoid defeat by the Aussies - if they did, it would be the biggest upset of all time! However, we shouldn't blame the team - at least the guys are out there giving it a go.

For some players it doesn't matter how hard they train, they will never be as good as Henman or Hewitt. But at least they've tried to make it as a professional, which is more that can be said for most junior players in the UK.

Tennis in this country is in a crisis, but it doesn't need unconstructive and negative people to make it worse

Jacob Pollak, England

We need to make children realise that being a tennis player can be a viable career, not some distant dream.
Martin McLean, UK

I wish everyone would stop being so negative about British tennis. I think Alex, Alan, Arvind and Miles have a great chance of an upset. They are the future of tennis - and Hewitt et al won't know what's hit them.
Barry Cheese, UK

Australia should win comfortably. But you never know. That's why sport is fun to watch. The Great Britain Davis Cup team are the underdogs of the century.

What would happen if Hewitt pulled out to injury and one of the new young Great Britain players rallied to the occasion? It could happen but I doubt it.
Roy Matthews, UK

Good experience for younger players like Alex Bogdanovic, the tie wasn't going to be easy even with Tim and Greg.
Andrew and James, Sutton

GB have sadly no chance. To see our second and third-string play will only highlight to the British public what we have to look forward to after Tim and Greg retire.
James, Australia

To say the comments so far are depressing would be an understatement. It makes me very angry to see such mindless comments. Of course we are the underdogs but does that mean we can't fight it till the end?

Mark Winn's comments are the most 'inevitable' response from the average cynical member of the public. I'm confident that Russian viewers didn't turn off their TVs when Youzhny was two sets down in the final of the Davis Cup.

Tennis in this country is in a crisis, but it doesn't need unconstructive and negative people to make it worse. I wish the British team the best of luck.
Jacob Pollak, England

Sure they can, anything is possible if you wish and dream hard enough. One only has to really want a set in order to get it.

I believe the English players have the heart, desire and will to get a set. That is until they wake up and have to actually play the game for real.
Jimmy Simms, Australia

Britain would be hard pushed to beat the Aussies with Henman and Rusedski

Eoghan Murphy, Ireland

If commentators were more positive about the team we have, they'd only have to play against Australia, not against public opinion as well.
Rosemary, England

The Aussies are at home, on a surface they've selected, with the crowd on their side and with players who have regularly played in Grand Slam events. Need I say more?

In short they've got absolutely no chance of causing an upset and, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't win a set.
Colin, UK

A set? That's a laugh... wait for the inevitable list of pathetic LTA excuses after the patheticaly predictable whitewash. Where's Patrice now? Left before the inevitable media backlash eh? When Tim and Greg retire in a couple of years, what then?
Mark Winn, UK

Britain would be hard pushed to beat the Aussies with Henman and Rusedski. With such poor depth in men's tennis in Britain, they haven't a hope without them.
Eoghan Murphy, Ireland

Frankly I think the Australian U-18 duo of Todd Reid and Ryan Henry could lead the Aussies to a 5-0 drubbing of the Poms.

I set the limit of no more than 20 games lost by the Aussies.
Sergei, Russia

Can England win a set? Sure, why not? After the Aussies are 3-0 up and it's all over, they might let Wayne Arthurs play a match.
Rob, UK

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