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Over to you then, Boggo

Davis Cup
by Caroline Cheese (U1647853) 20 September 2008
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A comprehensive defeat for Ross Hutchins and Jamie Murray on Saturday means Andy Murray and Alex Bogdanovic must win their singles matches on Sunday if Great Britain are to avoid relegation into (deep breath now) Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group 1.

Mirroring his Ryder Cup counterpart Nick Faldo over in the US, British skipper John Lloyd made a shock omission on Saturday, leaving Andy Murray out of the doubles. Faldo is probably feeling a whole lot more comfortable right now.

According to Lloyd, Andy made himself available for the doubles, despite complaining of a strained abductor muscle he had suffered on the transition from hard courts to grass, but the captain decided against risking his best player in a five-set match ahead of Sunday’s singles.

It was undoubtedly a tough call for Lloyd - and not just a question of who would partner Jamie.

Andy partnered Hutchins at the US Open with reasonable success, and he and Jamie do not appear to have been on the best of terms since playing together at the Olympics. Jamie has also been in indifferent form in men’s doubles of late, leading to the break-up of his partnership with Max Mirnyi.

Lloyd may well be right when he says that any pairing he put out would have struggled against a high-quality performance from Jurgen Melzer and Julian Knowle. Yet Knowle admitted he was “surprised” and Melzer said it “lifted both of us” when they discovered Murray would not be playing.

Redemption calls for Boggo, but is the 24-year-old ready to answer?
As it was, in the succinct words of Jamie Murray: “We got our butts handed to us for an hour and a half.” An hour and 41 minutes to be precise. A crowd of about 9,000 (minus a small cluster of about 20 noisy Austrians) could find very little worth cheering about. Yes, Murray and Hutchins were struggling to provide inspiration, but perhaps a raucous atmosphere – for which Davis Cup is famed - might have helped them out of a hole and at least given the Austrians something to think about. But British tennis crowds seem forever entrenched in their Wimbledon ways.

Murray’s lack of confidence was evident for all to see on Saturday, the doubles world number 33 missing a host of routine volleys and failing to play the dominant role expected from the country’s number one doubles exponent.

So it is left to Andy Murray and Bogdanovic to pick up the pieces. Murray should beat Melzer on grass, although it is certainly not a given. That would leave Bogdanovic to play the deciding fifth rubber against Alex Peya, a player ranked two places below the Briton at 164.

“You have to be strong in your belief and sometimes he lacks that, so we’re going to keep on him.” Lloyd told BBC Sport. “I’m going to be kicking him a lot tomorrow if necessary.”

Redemption calls for Boggo, a man with a six-match losing streak in live Davis Cup matches, but is the 24-year-old ready to answer?

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posted Sep 21, 2008

According to the ATP website, since Wimbledon, Chris Eaton has played six matches at Challenger level (none at Tour level) and has beaten three players (ranked 217, 355 and 517) and lost to three (ranked 254, 361 and 643). Two of the players he's lost to are British and ranked above him (Bloomfield and Goodall).

Eaton has occasionally been mentioned as someone who might have been selected for this Davis Cup tie, but this all seems to be on the basis that he won one match at Wimbledon against a player (Pashanski) who has never won a match on grass in his career and has lost in the first round of seven out of the eight Grand Slams he's played in. It's not the most convincing case.

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posted Sep 21, 2008

boggo just looks so slow around court after andy.

I dunno if he works hard enough on his fittness, i mean, andy is a known good mover and taller but boggo looks about half the speed, he should be faster than that.

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posted Sep 21, 2008

Chris Eaton has played 8 competitive matches since Wimbledon winning 4 and losing 4 and not getting beyond the second round. 2 of his loses were to British players so I think he is down the pecking order for selection.

One of his victors was Josh Goodall who is in form and only a few ranking positions lower than Boggo. He should have been given the chance.

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posted Sep 21, 2008

BTW, who is the 'Judy Miller' being quoted on the main page? Has Andy's mum changed her name????

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posted Sep 21, 2008

"One of his victors was Josh Goodall who is in form and only a few ranking positions lower than Boggo. He should have been given the chance."

Well, perhaps, but the gap is more than a few places (37 at present) and although Goodall's ranking has been rising of late, so has Bogdanovic's. In fact, Goodall was ranked above Bogdanovic a few months ago but Bogdanovic has overtaken him and opened up something of a gap in rankings terms. Both have some claim to being "in form".

The better argument for not selecting Bogdanovic would be his lack of Davis Cup success in the past. But in fairness to him, he's almost always been playing players ranked in the top 100, and there's no reason to think that any other current British player (Murray aside), similarly ranked below that level, would have done significantly better. I don't think that Goodall, for example, has ever beaten a top 100 player.

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posted Sep 21, 2008

Boggo just doesn't seem to have any bottle

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comment by r0nin (U1677821)

posted Sep 21, 2008

What a load of rubbish... if this is the best are No.2 players can produce then sorry it's all over for british tennis.... Lloyd has go to go let's get some foreigners in that can try and show us what they can do... As for boggo if he get's picked for the Davis cup then the coaches need there head's tested...

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posted Sep 21, 2008

"Boggo's" chance of redemption just disappeared.
It's time for Murray to look after himself and pull out of this GB team farce. He can't be expected to constantly shore up no-hopers.
Let the rest find their real level in world tennis instead of prolonging this sham.

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posted Sep 21, 2008

Hmm... Boggo by name and bog standard by nature. Congratulations to Alec for again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. A credit to the nation.

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posted Sep 24, 2008

he beat nobody's only.
Only nobody's compete in mixed doubles

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