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2004 Sep 26 - Davis Cup: GB crash to Austria

Great Britain we're defeated 3-2 by Austria in the Davis Cup Elite 16 World Group Play-off. The result means Great Britain will continue to play their tennis in the Euro/Africa Zone group.

Rubber 3: Doubles - Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski resumed their match against up Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya which they trailed 4-6 6-1 2-6 but were unable to hold off the Austrian pair who comfortably took the forth set 6-1.

Rubber 4: Singles - Tim Henman had to win his singles rubber against Jurgen Melzer to keep Great Britain in the tie and despite dropping the first set to love the British No.1 came back to wrap up the match 0-6 6-2 7-6(4) 6-2.

Rubber 5: Singles - With the tie poised at 2-2 the pressure was on Greg to secure victory for Great Britain, despite discomfort caused by blistering on his racket hand. His opponent Stefan Koubek was not in the mood for charity and wasted no time in grabbing a place for Austria in the Elite 16 World Group with a win in straight sets 7-6(2) 7-4 7-5.

After the tie Jeremy Bates (Great Britain Captain) said:

"There's nothing worse - I don't know how many times we've lost 3-2 now.

"We lost it earlier in the tie. It was a fantastic effort from Greg and Tim today."

"I hate losing. All the boys hate losing, but we prepared as well as we can and I wouldn't have done anything differently."

With Greg struggling due to a blistered racked hand Jeremy had option of using one of the young guns Alex Bogdanovic or Andrew Murray for the fifth rubber but decided to go with experience. To be fair the hand didn't seem to bother Greg and he was just outplayed by a better man on the day.

After the match Greg said:

"Stefan was a little bit too good today.

"I had chances but it helps when you've got a guy who's totally fresh. He played the best of everyone and won the tie for them this weekend.

"The hand didn't make any difference. It's bleeding a little but he was the better player. They were just too good, we've got to give them credit."

The Austrian camp used all four of their Davis Cup squad members during the tie while Great Britain used only Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski - a tough ask when they were forced to play 5 matches between them over only two days. Greg added:

"We need the young kids to come through and help us. They had two fresh guys for the doubles and then the singles."

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