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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 April 2007, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Henman hails 'fantastic' Rusedski
Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman
Rusedski and Henman played Davis Cup together over 12 years
Tim Henman described Greg Rusedski's impact on British tennis as "fantastic" after his long-time rival announced his retirement on Saturday.

Both men spent time as the nation's number one player during the 12 years they both represented Great Britain in the Davis Cup and on the ATP Tour.

"He's been absolutely fantastic," Henman told Five Live.

"He's been so committed to the cause and it's that determination and desire we've known is going to be there 24/7."

The pair first met on court in Ostrava in 1996 and Henman went on to win eight of their 10 meetings.

And after a frosty start to their personal relationship they forged a strong partnership when playing together in the Davis Cup.

606: DEBATE

"We really did combine fantastically well," said Henman.

"I think those moments on court and the pressure situations when we were able to help each other come through are the ones that I'll remember the most."

He added: "It feels like someone that's been so involved in my career has finally finished so it's sort of the end of an era from that point of view.

"But I'm sure I'll still see plenty more of him."

Both men reached a career-high ranking of four in the world and Henman admitted their private battle had been a motivating factor throughout his career.

"I think we're both competitive enough that we would have still been very, very motivated but I think that rivalry definitely played a big part," said Henman.

Greg Rusedski
I'd still like to be involved in tennis, giving back and working with the youngsters

Greg Rusedski

"I know that there were aspects in his game that I was able to look at and see that I needed to improve and I'm sure I was able to spur him on at different times."

Rusedski has revealed he plans to stay in the sport and would like to help out with Britain's Davis Cup team.

"I've spoken to (LTA chief executive) Roger Draper - hopefully there will be a possibility of working with the youngsters," said the 33-year-old.

"I've got vast experience, having got to a Grand Slam final. I know what it takes to become a player.

"I'd love to still be part of the Davis Cup as well," added Rusedski, who retired after GB beat the Netherlands.

"I'd still like to be involved in tennis, giving back and working with the youngsters. I'd like to try and give back as much as I possibly can."

Rusedski made his Davis Cup debut in 1995 and played a total of 43 rubbers, Saturday's win in the doubles with Jamie Murray taking his win-loss record to 30-13.

"I've been part of it since 1995 and it's been really enjoyable being part of the team from the first tie in Eastbourne to this tie in Birmingham," said Rusedski.

"If John needs me as a practice partner or waterboy or whatever, I'm more than happy to be part of the team - even just coming out and cheering the boys on in their ties."

SEE ALSO
Rusedski's career in pictures
07 Apr 07 |  Tennis
Rusedski and Murray seal GB win
07 Apr 07 |  Tennis


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