GB relegated after Bogdanovic defeat
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:02
The British number two was defeated 2-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 by Alexander Peya to give Austria a 3-2 Davis Cup victory which means Britain lose their status in the world group of 16 elite tennis nations.
Instead Britain will play in the Europe/Africa zone against potentially Latvia, Belarus or Macedonia which is tantamount to the conference league in football.
And it means the future of Davis Cup captain John Lloyd is also in doubt after his gamble to rest Andy Murray for the doubles on Saturday backfired.
Murray did his bit on Sunday, beating Austria’s number one Jurgen Melzer in a feisty and passionate rubber 6-4 5-7 6-3 6-1 to square the tie at 2-2 and set up Bogdanovic for a tilt at glory.
It was a feisty and passionate performance from Murray who struggled with the slippy court and the morning start but came through to demonstrate his pride and commitment in a national jersey.
The captain’s confidence in Bogdanovic certainly was misplaced after the Belgrade-born 24-year-old demonstrated lots of his natural talent but once more succumbed to psychological fragility. Bogdanovic had not won a ‘live’ Davis Cup rubber in five previous attempts. He had lost seven consecutive singles matches in the first round at Wimbledon.
He played quite superbly in the first set, but the Austrian, who had shown signs of class in defeat against Andy Murray on Friday, gradually fought his way back into the match.
Bogdanovic had his chances but there were too many errors, such as a wild long smash in the ninth game of the second set and a failure to convert break points in the sixth game of the third set.
By the time it got to the fourth set the body language on the British bench was resigned, and Peya rattled off four straight games before Bogdanovic put in a late flurry but, in truth, the end was tame an inevitable as Austria beat Britain for the first time on grass.