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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Henman focused on securing GB win
Tim Henman
Henman will play at least two singles matches during the tie
Davis Cup, World Group play-off
Date: 21-23 Sept
Venue: Court One, Wimbledon
Watch: BBCi, BBC Sport website
Listen: Updates on BBC Radio 5live
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Tim Henman will not be sidetracked by the emotion of his imminent retirement as he tries to help Great Britain beat Croatia in the Davis Cup.

The 33-year-old will retire after the tie at Wimbledon but is determined to help Britain win the World Group play-off.

Henman and Andy Murray will play the two singles rubbers when the action begins on Friday.

"It's no different to any match in my career," said Henman.

"I've always given it my best shot and this weekend will be no different. People might say you can see the finishing line in terms of my career but it's a positive for me."

"I'm excited about one big last push and, hopefully, we can get the result.

I've been hitting the ball really well and Number One court is in fantastic condition

Andy Murray

"I'm certainly aware there are only a few days left, but, because of the nature of the tie and how important it is, all my energy is focused on it."

The draw for the tie will take place on Thursday at 1100 BST.

Barring any injuries or surprise selections, British number two Henman will play Ivan Ljubicic in Friday's singles, while Murray will take on Croatia's number two Marin Cilic.

Henman has won only one of his five previous matches against Ljubicic, while Murray has never faced 18-year-old rising star Cilic.

Murray, 20, is then expected to team up with older brother Jamie in Saturday's doubles.

However, Henman, whose troublesome back hastened his decision to retire, has told captain John Lloyd he is prepared to play in the doubles even though it means playing three five-set matches in three days.

"Most definitely," he said. "One of the significant aspects of my age is that you don't recover as quickly, but playing on grass is a big help, it's definitely easier on my back.

Great Britain
Andy Murray (18)
Tim Henman (92)
Jamie Murray (28 in doubles)
Jamie Baker (226)
Croatia
Ivan Ljubicic (12)
Marin Cilic (108)
Roko Karanusic (164)
Lovro Zovko (80 in doubles)
World rankings in brackets

"If I'm required to play five-set matches three days in a row, I feel ready to go."

Murray has only recently returned after four months out with a wrist injury but is confident he will perform well on Wimbledon's grass.

"I'm really looking forward to it," said the Scot. "I've been hitting the ball really well and Number One court is in fantastic condition.

"The balls have been bouncing up like a hard court. Hitting the ball doesn't take long at all, it's just the movement that takes a bit of getting used to, a couple of hours."

Home captain John Lloyd called on the fans to forget their natural British reserve to back his side.

"It will be a different atmosphere to Wimbledon," he said.

"The crowd are very knowledgeable here and I think they will realise this is the time the polite stuff goes out of the window to a certain extent.

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"We want them to be as absolutely nutty as they possibly can for us and I believe it will happen."

Great Britain are ranked 23 places below Croatia for the first meeting between the two nations but the home side's cause is helped by the absence of Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic from Croatia's squad.

Ljubicic, who led his country to Davis Cup glory in 2005, has confirmed that he will retire from the competition after this weekend's tie.

"I've been in the Davis Cup team for 10 years and I don't think I'm able to carry on giving my best. I'm not getting any younger," said the 28-year-old.

He added: "Henman is retiring and wants to leave in the best possible way and the young British team want to be in the World Group.

"But we would like to remain in the World Group because we feel it is where we belong. It will be a shame if we go down."

SEE ALSO
Youngsters lack desire - Henman
17 Sep 07 |  Tennis


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