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2004 Sep 21 - Davis Cup: Koubek's mind games

Austrian Stefan Koubek has upped the ante ahead of the Great Britain v Austria Davis Cup tie by insisting the clay courts will be as ugly as possible.

Stefan said:

"Tim Henman may have reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros but we are not going to put that kind of clay on the court.

"It's going to be a little slower, a little deeper and a lot tougher to play on for British players.

"I am very much looking forward to it because the British do not play their best tennis on clay."

You would think such information would be worthy of keeping to yourself so obviously the Austrian is playing mind games as the importance of gaining a psychological advantage could mean the difference between being promoted to the Elite 16 World Group or remaining in the Europe/Africa Zone.

British captain Jeremy Bates has the following squad to select from: Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Alex Bogdanovic and Andrew Murray. While his counterpart Thomas Muster (former world No.1 and Roland Garros champion) will select from Stefan Koubek, Jurgen Melzer, Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya.

Stefan added:

"Everyone in Austria looks up to Thomas because he was the number one player in the world and won at Roland Garros and many other tournaments.

"I looked up to Thomas when I was a kid - he was the best player in the world and it is a good thing that he is now coaching us in Davis Cup.

"It's not easy to follow him but I'm trying and I hope that people are going to remember me too."

Ticket Information - The match is being held in Portschach, Austria, and commences on Friday 24th September. Click here to view our ticket information page.


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