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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Bates praises 'phenomenal' Murray
Andy Murray
Britain's Davis Cup captain Jeremy Bates has hailed Andy Murray's meteoric rankings rise as phenomenal but says he always believed the Scot would make it.

"It's a big boost to everyone but most of all for Andy himself," Bates said after the 18-year-old sensation broke into the world top 100 on Thursday.

"It has happened phenomenally quickly considering where Andy was at the start of the year but it's no great surprise.

"The signs were always there that Andy would become a top-class player."

Murray - ranked a lowly 479 a year ago when he captured the US Open Boy's singles title - joined the game's elite with a characteristically gritty win over Swede Robin Soderling at the Thailand Open on Thursday.

The 18-year-old from Dunblane dug deep to win two tiebreaks to secure a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) victory and a place in the quarter-finals in Bangkok.

But Bates is one of many who believe Murray - now a main man in the GB Davis Cup squad following Tim Henman's retirement from the team competition - will go a lot, lot further.

"It is terrific to see another British player in the top 100," Bates added.

"It's a fantastic effort by Andy and not only has he shown the class to be able to do it but the ability to stay there as well.

"He is not going to rest now - he has tremendous drive and fortitude and he will keep going for it."

Murray's sensational climb up the rankings coincides with long-time British number One Henman's slide.

Henman has tumbled to 28th, with British number two Greg Rusedski just a spot behind in 29th.



SEE ALSO
Murray clinches Challenger win
14 Aug 05 |  Tennis
Win propels Murray into top 200
18 Jul 05 |  Tennis


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