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The BBC's Iain Carter
"Defeat to Ecuador is a shocking result"
 real 28k

Tim Henman
"It's not looking good. We need to start producing the goods"
 real 28k

Giovanni Lapentti
"The greatest day of my life"
 real 56k

Sunday, 16 July, 2000, 17:26 GMT
Britain suffer Davis Cup humiliation
Lapentti celebrates
Lapentti celebrates the most important win of his career
Davis Cup result: Great Britain 2-3 Ecuador

Great Britain have been relegated from the Davis Cup top-flight after Arvind Parmar blew a two set lead against Ecuador's Giovanni Lapentti on Wimbledon's No.1 court.

Parmar looked set to give Britain a much needed boost in the competition, but found his 17-year-old opponent full of fight.

Tim Henman had raised home hopes with a straight sets victory over Lapentti's older brother, Nicolas, in the first match of the day.

But earlier defeats by Greg Rusedski in the singles and Henman and Parmar in the doubles meant the host nation were still in a major predicament coming into the final rubber.


Parmar
Parmar started well, but his challenge faded away
Parmar could not have got off to a worse start losing the first game on his serve after double faulting when he was 40-15 down.

The Briton had to wait until the third game to put his name on the scoreboard, but after that seemed more settled following a nervy beginning.

Parmar broke back in the eighth making Lapentti pay with one of the three break points to give the home fans some welcome cheer.

The 22-year-old held on to serve in the next game and broke the Ecuadorian after the younger of the two hit a reflex volley into the net.

The Nottingham based player was oozing confidence working Lapentti around the Court One at SW19 as the partisan support bayed for Parmar to break the 17-year-old.

Their wish came true in the eighth game when Parmar went into a 30-love lead after hitting a textbook backhand and a superb winning forehand followed to give the Briton two break points.

Bravery

He took the first when Lapentti struck a volley into the net and Parmar again found his composure to take the ninth game, serving an ace off his one and only set point.


Greg Rusedski
Greg Rusedski acts as cheerleader for the British team
Lapentti looked to be easy pickings for Parmar - but the world 959 had other ideas.

The bravery shown by the Ecuador player had to be admired as he raced to a 3-0 lead in the third.

Parmar held in the next but Lapentti broke again in the sixth game and virtually aced his way in the following, to win the third 6-1.

Agitated

The Wimbledon faithful were becoming agitated and although Parmar seemed to have calmed down after his third set trouncing Lapentti smashed a fantastic backhand on Parmar's serve to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

The rest of the set went to serve until the ninth game when Parmar's misjudgment on a returned lob gave Lapentti the boost to break the Briton again and win the fourth, tieing the match.

Both players held on to serve in the first six games of the decider, as the contest reached fever pitch.

Parmar brought the seventh game to deuce with a great forehand and a mistake from Lapentti but the rising Ecuador star rose above the challenge and held on to make the scores 4-3.

But much to the woe of the majority of supporters in the packed court, two schoolboy errors from Parmar on his serve gave Lapentti the crucial break and the youngster made no mistake in the next game, falling to the ground as he hit the winner.

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See also:

16 Jul 00 |  Tennis
Henman takes tie to the wire
15 Jul 00 |  Tennis
Australia whitewash Brazil
16 Jul 00 |  Tennis
Henman v Lapentti in detail
16 Jul 00 |  Tennis
Cup of woe for Britain
15 Jul 00 |  Tennis
Injured Rusedski pulls out
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