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Monday, 9 September, 2002, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Stich quits Davis Cup post
Michael Stich and Boris Becker won Olympic doubles gold in 1992
Stich wanted to bring Becker out of retirement
Michael Stich has stepped down as Germany's Davis Cup captain after his plan to recall Boris Becker almost provoked a player walk-out.

Stich said he would quit the team after the World Group relegation play-off against Venezuela from 20-22 September.

The former Wimbledon champion had considered selecting Becker for the tie in Karlsruhe.


I did not receive a great deal of support either from the players or from the German Tennis Federation
Michael Stich

But Tommy Haas and Rainer Schuettler both threatened to pull out, insisting Germany should concentrate on building a young team.

The plan was also opposed by German Tennis Federation (DTB) president Georg von Waldenfels.

Stich said: "Despite everything, my job and my aspiration always has been to seek the best for the team.

"That's why I feel forced to accept the ultimatum from Tommy Haas and Rainer Schuettler and to give up the idea of calling up Becker.

"I have carried out this duty with pride for a year but, unfortunately, I did not receive a great deal of support either from the players or from the German Tennis Federation."

Stich, 34, took over as Davis Cup captain from Carl-Uwe Steeb last October when Becker turned down the post.

Becker, who retired from competitive tennis three years ago, offered to play doubles against Venezuela after beating old rival Stich in an exhibition match last month.

Stich was aware that tickets for the Karlsruhe fixture were selling slowly and thought Becker's selection would revive interest in the tie.

He has now picked Haas, Schuettler, Nicolas Kiefer and David Prinosil for the match against Venezuela.

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05 Sep 02 | Tennis
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