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Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Boris Becker backs Tim Henman to inspire GB players

Boris Becker and Tim Henman
Becker (left) believes Henman could have a positive impact on GB's fortunes

Boris Becker says Tim Henman should be recruited to help lift Great Britain out of the Davis Cup doldrums.

The three-time Wimbledon champion said former British number one Henman has the qualities to inspire the current generation of young British players.

Becker said: "I would like to see Tim involved in some shape or form because I think he's a big role model."

GB's loss to Lithuania means they will drop into the Davis Cup's lowest tier if they fail to beat Turkey in July.

John Lloyd is considering his future after becoming the first British captain to lead the team to five successive defeats.

Becker claimed four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman, 35, would be more in tune with the younger generation than the 55-year-old Lloyd.

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The German said: "It's very difficult to speak the language of the kids today. You have to be not too far away from them in years to have some sort of communication with them.

"I think Tim would have that, plus he was a great player."

Becker, speaking ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi, added he is baffled by the state of the British men's game considering the vast amounts of funding given to the Lawn Tennis Association every year by Wimbledon.

"I don't understand it," he said. "With such a history of tennis, with Wimbledon, with [the national tennis centre at] Roehampton... why you struggle so much as a nation, I don't get it.

"There must be youngsters somewhere in the country who can play tennis. The big question is who is in charge of picking them and what are the coaches looking for?

"Something must be going really bad for it not to happen. Results speak for themselves. You can always have a bad game, a bad six months, but this is happening on a regular basis. It's not a one-off.

"When [LTA chief executive] Roger Draper came in he had a good plan. It all sounded good but the coaches have to deliver and the players have to win.

"John Lloyd was a good coach for a number of years and knows what he is talking about, but he is dependent on the other coaches providing him with the best players."



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see also
David Lloyd demands Draper exit
09 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Lloyd considers Davis Cup future
08 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Davis Cup loss 'devastates' Lloyd
07 Mar 10 |  Tennis
GB fall to humiliating Cup defeat
07 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray defends Davis Cup pull-out
03 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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