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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Henman in plea to young GB stars
Tim Henman
Henman reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon four times
Tim Henman has called upon Britain's leading tennis players to fill the void left by his retirement.

Great Britain play a World Group tie in the Davis Cup in February and will need to replace Henman in the second singles berth behind Andy Murray.

"In an ideal world, you would have four or five players coming into the top 100," said Henman.

"Let's hope that in the next five months, the likes of Alex Bogdanovic and Jamie Baker can step up."

Henman's 14-year career came to a close over the weekend as GB defeated Croatia 4-1 in their World Group play-off.

If we had more kids with Jamie Baker's attitude, we'd be in a better situation
Tim Henman

"It's something they shouldn't be intimidated by. They should look at it as an unbelievable opportunity," added Henman.

Henman is convinced 23-year-old Bogdanovic, currently ranked 130 in the world, has the ability to make a bigger impact.

"Bogdanovic is a guy who has masses of technical ability," said Henman.

"He's improving as an athlete, he's getting fitter and stronger, and now I think he's beginning to understand what is required mentally.

"Then you look at Jamie Baker. He's a classic example of someone who has all the motivation, desire and hunger.

"He's just got to keep developing his game because he doesn't have the natural ability of Bogdanovic.

606: DEBATE

"If we had more kids with Baker's attitude, we'd be in a better situation."

Great Britain face the daunting prospect of entering the elite stages of the Davis Cup without Henman, but Murray is relishing the prospect of taking on the world's best.

"Except for Roger Federer in Switzerland, I've never really played against the best players in the world," said Murray.

"Now I have a chance of winning against them, it's going to be exciting.

"The Davis Cup does some funny things and if we get a couple of guys ranked between 120 and 150 in the world, we have a team capable of winning matches in the World Group."

There have been suggestions that Murray may not be available for Davis Cup matches because of scheduling concerns.

But the Scot insisted: "If I'm feeling 100% fit I'm going to play in the Davis Cup."



SEE ALSO
Youngsters lack desire - Henman
17 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Life after Henman
24 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Henman - bowing out in New York
22 Sep 07 |  Tennis


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