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2005 Mar 06 - Davis Cup: Bates backs GB

Following an impressive win over Israel in the Davis Cup, Jeremy Bates (Great Britain captain) believes his team have the ability to qualify for the Elite 16 World Group.

He told BBC Sport:

"I think we can qualify. You get so much confidence from something like this.

"There's plenty of teams out there we can go and beat."

So far the only downside to the retirement of Tim Henman from Davis Cup tennis is that Great Britain will now be unseeded and have to play a World Group qualification match in May away from home.

Jeremy has been quick to back young guns Andrew Murray and Davis Sherwood who have (so far) filled the void left by Tim Henman. Although, it seems the door is closed on any potential return to the fold for the British No.1. Jeremy added:

"I think what Tim has done for British tennis is awesome and everyone's behind him.

"But now we've got this opportunity to build with Greg for the next couple of years and for the new boys to take over."

Tim passed on his congratulations to the team and highlighted Greg for special praise. He told his personal website:

"I felt Britain had an excellent chance going into the tie if Greg could lead by example - and that's exactly what happened.

"Greg played really well in both his singles matches. He seemed to enjoy the added responsibility he now has."

Greg is also taking positives from his new role as team leader and watching the development of his young team-mates. He told BBC Sport:

"It's great to see these youngsters - they've got a lot of energy and a lot of joy.

"A lot of people said we weren't going to win this tie but we won comfortably, so that's very positive.

"You saw how pumped up Andy was in the doubles and that's what we want to see in Davis Cup.

"If they do that week in, week out, with that sort of intensity, they'll do well and the team will do well."

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