Rusedski opts to miss Australia tie

 

Greg Rusedski has ruled himself out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Australia in February.

But he has already informed captain Roger Taylor he will not play in the World Group first-round tie in Sydney from February 7th-9th, with the switch from hard courts to clay understood to be a cause for concern.

"I don't want to put the Davis Cup team in a difficult position by giving them last-minute notice if I had to withdraw," said Rusedski, who was perceived in some quarters to have done just that before September's clash with Thailand in Birmingham.

"I'm not sure how my foot will react in Doha, let alone the Australian Open. The surgeons warned me that it would take four to six months to recover from the operation.

"I'm going to Doha with a completely open mind, having just got back to training within the last two weeks."

Rusedski's withdrawal again places even more pressure on British number one Tim Henman to carry the nation's hopes, although Henman is also recovering from surgery.

Henman played through the pain barrier to almost single-handedly drag Britain through the tie with Thailand before undergoing surgery on his shoulder.

He is optimistic of being fit for the Australian Open and the Davis Cup, but will need to be on the top of his game against Australia's world number one Lleyton Hewitt.

Britain have not won a World Group tie in the competition since 1986 and defeat in Sydney would condemn them to yet another relegation play-off.

PA