Desperate times as Rusedski plots return
Greg Rusedski, who wants to come out of his two-year retirement, may swiftly revise his plans if he keeps getting knocked back.
He's been considering a comeback for a while, primarily with the motivation of playing Davis Cup for Great Britain again, and for the past week he's been badgering team captain John Lloyd.
With Britain so short of obvious contenders to join Andy Murray in the team, he was desperate to return for the Euro-Africa Zone Group One tie against Ukraine on 6 March.
Rusedski was said to be bitterly disappointed when Lloyd turned him down but it was the only decision the captain could make. Last month Rusedski lost to 39-year-old Cedric Pioline at the seniors' event in London.
The intriguing aspect to this story is the possibility for the future because Lloyd has left the Davis Cup door tantalisingly ajar.
"Obviously if Greg goes out and plays tournaments, which he seems to think he's going to, and manages to win matches then who knows," said Lloyd.
Certainly if Rusedski collects some wins by September, when hopefully Britain has a World Group play-off match, he would have to come into the frame.
But where will he get those wins?
It's understood he has contacted at least two tournament directors to ask for wild cards and in the summer he will fancy his chances of getting into the grass-court events because they are owned and run by his employers at the LTA.
The whole thing depends on how receptive those tournament directors are. Will they take the same view as John Lloyd and say wild cards aren't for 'has-beens'? Or will they sense a wonderful publicity opportunity?
If Rusedski gets knocked back several times, the idea is dead in the water. He will surely only commit to getting match fit if there is a definite reward at the end of it - in other words Davis Cup selection.
The decision to snub Rusedski comes at a time when Britain is more desperate than ever for Davis Cup players. Andy Murray is the only definite name on the team sheet for the Ukraine match. Either Jamie Murray or Ross Hutchins will take up the doubles berth.
A play-off will decide the other two team members with Josh Goodall, James Ward, Alex Slabinsky, Jamie Baker, Dan Evans and Colin Fleming getting the chance.
This is a controversial idea and Lloyd needs to be careful he doesn't abdicate his well-paid responsibility for picking the team.
But, in fairness, nobody knows how any of the six players will get on in best-of-five-set matches so we may as well put them together and see which one is left standing.
As for Rusedski, he clearly believes he could win live Davis Cup matches - and match-sharp and fully fit he may be right.
The same goes for Andy Murray's coach Miles Maclagan, who is in the best physical shape of his life and practices daily with the fourth-best player in the world. He too has joked with pals about possibly gunning for the team.
But all this just further highlights the desperate state of British men's tennis beneath Murray.
It's up to the fringe players to step up, perform in the play-off and prove they can do better than a full-time coach and an ice-dancer.