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2004 Apr 09 - Davis Cup: Brits level on Day 1

Great Britain were fronted by Arvind Parmar in Rubber 1 of the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 match against Luxembourg today. He took on Gilles Muller in a thrilling five-setter but eventually lost the match 4-6 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-4.

In the first set Arvind conceded an early break and then fought back to run off 4 consecutive games to land the first set. The second set was going with serve but it was Gilles who took advantage to wrap up the second set 7-5. With both players knowing the importance of the match there were errors from both camps but it was Arvind who kept his head to take the third set 3-6. Within one set of the match Arvind required treatment for a thigh injury which gave Gilles the extra motivation he needed to take the set 6-4 and level the match at 2-2. In the fifth set Arvind upped the tempo in order to force a break but Gilles held tight and closed out the match.

After the match a disappointed Arvind said:

"I waited for my chances, got them and then didn't take them.

"He is a player who we know is a little bit mentally weak and a bit flaky but when he's hot he can really steamroller you and I was hanging in there.

"I'm disappointed I didn't win but I gave everything. I didn't panic at any point and my attitude was great."

Rubber 2 saw British No.1 Tim Henman recover the one point deficit to Luxembourg and level the tie as he rolled over Gilles Kremer 6-3 6-3 6-2.

Tim held his serve comfortably in the first set while breaking Gilles and taking the opening set with relative ease. The second set was identical, as Tim dictated from the outset and snatching the break he required to wrap up the set. A demoralised Gilles was running out of ideas and could do nothing to prevent Tim from breaking his serve twice and securing the final set 6-2.

Tomorrow, Tim and Greg will pair up in the doubles where they will take on Gilles Muller and Mike Scheidweiler in Rubber 3. After the match today Tim said:

"I wanted to be workmanlike. On paper it's obviously a match I should win, but you have to go out there and prove it.

"He started off playing some good stuff, but eventually I felt like the pressure was going to tell.

"It was a good opportunity to experiment with a couple of things. I was trying to be very aggressive on my second serve.

"I thought I served well and that bodes well for the doubles on Saturday.

"With mine and Greg's record we'll go into our match fancying our chances."


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