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Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Britain face Davis Cup struggle

Highlights - GB duo defeated in Davis Cup

Great Britain face a battle to win their Davis Cup tie against Ukraine after losing the opening two singles matches on Friday.

Josh Goodall, the highest-ranked Briton following the withdrawal of Andy Murray, lost 6-7 (2-7) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7(5-7) to Illya Marchenko.

Chris Eaton then slumped 3-6 6-3 3-6 4-6 to Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming will try to keep the tie alive for Britain in Saturday's doubles match.

Earlier, Goodall found himself 3-0 down before fighting back and taking the first set to a tie-break. However, the Briton was then thoroughly outplayed, succumbing 2-7.

It was a similar story in the second set. This time Goodall fought back from 4-0 down to take the set to a tie-break - before letting a 4-1 lead slip.

The third set also went the distance and despite saving match points, Goodall finally fell 7-5 to the impressive Marchenko.

Goodall believed he got his tactics wrong.

"It was a close match," he said. "But I felt I gave myself a lot to do in every single set.

"I went down in the first set and managed to come back to a tie-break. I went down big in the second set - and again I had to come back. In the third set, I started to serve better and I was holding my own.

"I don't think I tactically got it right today. I felt I was trying to run around my backhand too much and hit too many forehands.

"I didn't stop doing it, for some reason."

Explaining how he came from behind in all three tie-breaks, Marchenko said: "It's usual for me to start like this and then begin to fight."

It was more of a struggle for British number seven Eaton who was facing the world number 74.

Eaton dropped his first service game and fell 3-0 behind before losing the first set 6-3.

But the 21-year-old player from Surrey fought back in the next, breaking Stakhovsky's first service game before holding his nerve to serve out the set.

It was level-pegging for most of the third until the Ukrainian broke in the eighth game before taking the set.

Stakhovsky broke Eaton again in the seventh game before an over-hit shot by the Briton handed the Ukrainian victory in the 10th.

British team coach John Lloyd admitted his team faced an uphill struggle to get anything from the match, but took heart from the spirit his players had shown.

"I know we're down 2-0 and everyone's disappointed but I must say that both the boys were a pleasure to sit on the court with and they both embraced the occasion," he said.

"They came up short, just by a little way. I didn't enjoy the result but I did enjoy the experience, if you can understand that."

"We would have been happy with 1-1 going into the doubles, but it's not to be.

"I've got to give their players credit - they played the big points very well."

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see also
Davis Cup photos
06 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Spain tie suspended after gales
06 Mar 09 |  Tennis

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