Doubles may hold the key – Henman
|Tim Henman believes that the doubles rubber may hold the key to victory in Great Britain’s Davis Cup World Group play-off tie with Croatia this weekend.
“I think the singles are all going to be very tight,” explained the 33-year-old, who has announced that this will be his last competitive outing before retiring.
“[Ivan] Ljubicic and [Marin] Cilic are obviously both really good players, but the fact that we’re playing on grass definitely favours us so I think all of the singles rubbers are there to be won but could go either way.
“But I think we definitely have the edge as far as the doubles is concerned and it helps that we have some options.
“For most of my career we’ve had to play all three days and when you’re playing best of five sets it becomes very draining both mentally and physically.
“But with Jamie Murray now in the squad it means we have a few more options and we can see how the singles goes on the opening day before deciding who will play on Saturday, so that helps enormously.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the doubles is going to be key – and I like our chances.
“Overall the tie is a tough one to call, home advantage does count for an awful lot in Davis Cup and if we can give the fans plenty to cheer in each of the matches that may give us the edge – I certainly hope so.”
The draw will take place on Thursday with two singles rubbers played on Friday September 21, the doubles rubber scheduled for Saturday and the final two singles matches played on Sunday, weather permitting.
Meanwhile, yesterday the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced that the organisers of the tie were fully prepared if the weather meant that it could not be completed on time.
A statement issued on the official LTA website read as follows:
‘Within the Davis Cup rules there are a number of options should this situation arise, namely the tie can be extended into the following week, the tie can be concluded at an indoor venue and the tie can be re-arranged.
All of these options will be considered at the appropriate time by the referee and both captains. Should this situation present itself the organisers will advise spectators of the new plans at the earliest opportunity.’
Play is scheduled to get underway at 11:00 local time on Friday and the tie will be covered live on BBC television.